Mayor's Office

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The City of Fresno has received nearly $35 million from the federal and state governments to provide emergency rental assistance grants to improve housing stability in these unprecedented and uncertain economic times.  The City along with six community-benefit organizations (CBOs) will process the applications and provide relief to both landlords and tenants.

The City of Fresno’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program will begin on March 15, 2021 and is available to residents in the City of Fresno that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and are unable to pay their full amount of rent and utilities from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. Subject to availability of funding, the City of Fresno will pay 80% of an eligible tenant’s past due rent owed if the landlord accepts that as full payment of the debt and agrees to forgive the remaining 20% balance from that same time period. For landlords who do not participate in this program, the City will pay the eligible tenant 25% of the rent owed between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 to provide the eligible tenant the protections afforded to them by SB 91.

Priority Phases of this program are as follows:

  • Priority 1 – Rent arrears for applicants below 50% Area Median Income (AMI)
  • Priority 2 – Rent arrears for applicants between 50% and 80% AMI
  • Priority 3 – Utility arrears
  • Priority 4 – Prospective Rent

Note:  Utilities that are covered by the landlord, will be treated as rent.

The City of Fresno wants to help provide housing security and stability to both property owners and tenants in our great City.  We are One Fresno and there is no better way to demonstrate our commitment to that goal than making sure every person in our city has a clean and safe place to call home.

Tenant Eligibility Requirements:

    • Rental Property is located in the City of Fresno; and
    • Tenant must meet income requirements (refer to Fresno County Area Median Income table below); and
    • Tenant must be unable to pay the full amount of rent because of a loss of income due to COVID-19; and
    • Tenant must provide qualification of unemployment benefits or experience a reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to COVID-19; and
    • Tenant must provide documentation that rent arrears and/or utility arrears is owed; and
    • Tenant must complete the tenant portion of the online application

Landlord Eligibility Requirements:

    • Rental Property is located in the City of Fresno; and
    • Tenant must meet income requirements (refer to Fresno County Area Median Income table below); and
    • Tenant must be unable to pay the full amount of rent because of a loss of income due to COVID-19; and
    • Landlord must complete the landlord portion of the online application

Fresno County Area Median Income — 50% and 80% Income Limits*

*Persons in the Family 50% Income Limit 80% Income Limit
1 $24,400 $39,050
2 $27,900 $44,600
3 $31,400 $50,200
4 $34,850 $55,750
5 $37,650 $60,250
6 $40,550 $64,700
7 $43,250 $69,150
8 $46,050 $73,600

If you do not live in the City of Fresno, but live in the County of Fresno please contact the County for Emergency Rental Assistance

County of Fresno website
County of Fresno Email:  erap@rhcbfresno.com
County of Fresno Phone:  (559) 515-4700

Frequently Asked Questions and Related Information

Tenant FAQ

Who do I contact to inquire information about the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program?

If you have any questions regarding this program please email ERAP@fresno.gov or call (559) 621-6801.

What are the eligibility requirements for this program?

Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Rental Property is located in the City of Fresno; and
  • Tenant must meet income requirements (refer to Fresno County Area Median Income table below); and
  • Tenant must be unable to pay the full amount of rent because of a loss of income due to COVID-19; and
  • Tenant must provide qualification of unemployment benefits or experience a reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to COVID-19; and
  • Tenant must provide documentation that rent arrears and/or utility arrears is owed; and
  • Tenant must complete the tenant portion of the online application

If a landlord refuses to participate in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, can a tenant apply for emergency rental assistance?

Yes. A tenant can apply if they meet all eligibility requirements, but will only receive 25% of the rent arrears.

What does a tenant need to do to be protected from eviction for non-payment of rent under SB 91?

  • Return a declaration of COVID-19 related financial distress, signed under penalty of perjury, and returned within 15 business days of receiving a notice to “pay or quit.” The landlord may request that the declaration be filled out monthly with every notice to “pay or quit.”
  • Pay 25% of the total rental arrears owed between September 2020 and June 2021 by June 30, 2021.
  • Please note, this payment does NOT need to be made monthly. The tenant household only needs to pay 25% or more of the total rental arrears owed between September 2020 and June 2021 by June 30, 2021.

What type of eviction(s) does SB 91 protect against?

Tenants who both pay 25% of their rent owed between September 2020 and June 2021 by June 30, 2021 and provide their landlord a declaration of COVID-19 financial distress are forever protected from eviction for non-payment of rent for their rent due between September 2020 and June 2021.
SB 91 does not protect tenants against lawful “Just Cause” evictions for legally valid reasons other than non-payment of rent (for example: health and safety violations or destruction of property).

How much rental assistance do I qualify for?

If you meet the qualifications of the program, 80% of your rent arrears will be paid directly to your landlord OR 25% of your rent arrears will be paid to you if your landlord chooses not to participate.

What documentation is required for the application?

All documentation will need to be uploaded in the online application platform. Required documentation is as follows:

  • Income verification (monthly or annual)
    • Wage statement
    • Interest statement
    • Unemployment compensation statement (if applicable)
    • Copy of Form 1040 as filed with IRS or pre-March 2020 pay stubs and 2 months of most recent pay stubs
  • Rental Agreement
  • Rental Statement showing rent arrears
  • W-9 if tenant is receiving the 25% payment
  • Utility bills showing utility arrears (if applicable)
  • Relocation Fees (if applicable)

Can I receive assistance for my utility costs?

Below is the priority focus list with rent arrears being the main focus. Utility arrears may be addressed as the program progresses and if funding is available.

  • Priority 1 – Rent arrears for applicants below 50% Area Median Income (AMI)
  • Priority 2 – Rent arrears for applicants between 50% and 80% AMI
  • Priority 3 – Utility arrears
  • Priority 4 – Prospective Rent

Note: Utilities that are covered by the landlord within rent will be treated as rent.

Will I receive direct payment assistance or does this go to the landlord on my behalf?

If landlord agrees to participate, then 80% of rent arrears will be paid directly to the landlord on behalf of the tenant. If landlord does not participate then 25% of the rent arrears will be paid directly to the tenant.

If I need assistance filling out the application, who do I contact?

For questions regarding the application, please contact the City of Fresno Emergency Rental Assistance program office at (559) 621-6801 or via email at erap@fresno.gov

Landlord FAQ

Who do I contact to inquire information about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (eRAP)?

If you have any questions regarding this program please email ERAP@fresno.gov or call (559) 621-6801.

What are the eligibility requirements for this program?

Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Rental Property is located in the City of Fresno; and
  • Tenant must meet income requirements (refer to Fresno County Area Median Income table below); and
  • Tenant must be unable to pay the full amount of rent because of a loss of income due to COVID-19; and
  • Landlord must complete the landlord portion of the online application

How do I submit my application?

The application is located above in various PDFs or the Apply Now button.

What documentation is required for the application?

All documentation will need to be uploaded in the online application platform. Required documentation is as follows:

  • Completed ACH form for direct payment to your financial institution
  • Rental Agreement (if tenant is unable to provide)
  • Rental Statement showing rent arrears (if tenant is unable to provide)
  • W-9

How much assistance is provided for rental arrears?

Eligible landlords will receive payment of 80% of their tenants past due rent accumulated between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. A direct payment will be made to the landlord in the name of the tenant and the landlord must agree to accept this payment as payment in full of any unpaid rent for that period and not evict the tenant for non-payment.

Are tenants of federally subsidized housing, e.g., Low Income Housing Credit, Public Housing, or Indian Housing Block Grant-assisted properties, eligible for eRAP?

Yes. An eligible household that occupies a federally-subsidized residential or mixed-use property may receive ERA assistance, provided that ERA funding is not applied to costs that have been or will be reimbursed under any other federal assistance.

However, if an eligible household receives a monthly federal subsidy (e.g., a Housing Choice Voucher, Public Housing, or Project-Based Rental Assistance) and the tenant rent is adjusted according to changes in income, the renter household is not eligible to receive ERA assistance.

What is the prioritization of funds for qualified applicants?

Below is the priority focus list with rent arrears being the main focus. Utility arrears may be addressed as the program progresses and if funding is available.

  • Priority 1 – Rent arrears for applicants below 50% Area Median Income (AMI)
  • Priority 2 – Rent arrears for applicants between 50% and 80% AMI
  • Priority 3 – Utility arrears
  • Priority 4 – Prospective Rent

Note: Utilities that are covered by the landlord within rent will be treated as rent.

Can this assistance cover my utility costs for the tenant?

Yes, if you include the utility costs (water, sewer, trash, PG&E) in your rent calculation, you can include these costs in your rent arrears calculation.

Eviction Projection Information

Here are some things you need to know about the State and City of Fresno’s eviction moratorium

»CRITERIA FOR TENANT PROTECTION
Under the City of Fresno’s Eviction Moratorium, if you cannot pay your rent because of a COVID-19 related impact, then you are protected against eviction. However, there are several steps that a tenant must take in order to be protected.

  • You must notify your landlord in writing
  • You must provide documentation to your landlord showing the COVID-19 impact

Q. Can I be evicted for Non-Payment?
A. NO- so long as the non-payment of rent was caused by a COVID-19 related impact.

Q. Can my Landlord charge late fees, interest or penalties?
A. NO- interest, late fees or other penalties shall not accrue or be owed as a result of rent deferrals.

Q. Does this apply to my Commercial Property?
A. YES- the City of Fresno’s eviction moratorium applies to commercial tenants.

Q. Am I required to notify my landlord that I cannot pay my rent due to COVID-19?
A. YES- a tenant must notify their landlord every month in writing (email, letter, text) that they cannot pay rent due to a COVID-19 impact. Within 10 days of this notice, the tenant must provide documentation showing they cannot pay rent.

»State of California AB 3088 & SB91
Tenant, Homeowner and small landlord relief and stabilization act of 2020 and COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act
AB3088 was signed into law to address what was expected to be an overwhelming number of residential evictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. On January 29, 2021, Governor Newsome signed SB91 extending eviction protections to COVID-19 impacted tenants.

Q. What is the expiration date of the program?
A. SB91 extends tenant protections through June 30, 2021

»SB 91 Information

  • Available to any tenant who timely attests under penalty of perjury that they have not been able to pay full rent due to COVID-19 related circumstances
  • If a tenant pays at least 25% of their rent owed between September 2020 and June 2021, they are permanently protected from eviction for not paying their full rent during that period. However they will still owe their landlord all unpaid rent
  • Landlords may still proceed with certain other types of “just cause” evictions unrelated to a tenant’s failure to pay rent
  • It is very important that you provide the signed declaration within 15 business days or an eviction proceeding may be filed against you

»City of Fresno Eviction Moratorium
Residential and Commercial Eviction Defense for Non-Payment of Rent Due to COVID-19
The City of Fresno’s Eviction Moratorium will expire at the end of the Local Emergency. Commercial tenants will have an extra 90 days following the termination

Q. How do I get help?
A. The City of Fresno’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program
Funding from the Federal and State government is available for households with income at or below 80% Area Median Income as well as households unemployed for the preceding 90 days at the time of application. Landlords can choose to accept 80% of any unpaid rent owed from April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021.

The remaining 20% must be forgiven.

To apply online download one of the PDF applications or hit the Apply Now button above.

If you would like to contact one of our Partner Organization for direct assistance, please contact them directly.