Rental apartments. Courtesy San Diego Housing Commission

Chula Vista opened applications Tuesday for city renters to request funds to help pay for past-due and upcoming rent, water, sewer, trash, gas, and electric bills as a result of COVID-19-related economic downturns.

The city received $16.8 million in state and federal funds to provide relief to residents and is distributing the funds through the Chula Vista Emergency Rental Assistance Program in collaboration with South Bay Community Services. The city is required to distribute the funds quickly, so residents must apply as soon as possible.

The application and information is available in English, Spanish, and Tagalog and can be found at www.chulavistaerap.com.

“COVID-19 has been devastating for many individuals and families,” said Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “With the rent and utility assistance program, we have the opportunity to assist residents who have been hardest hit financially by the pandemic, so that they don’t have to worry about housing and utilities during this difficult time.”

Both Chula Vista renters and landlords, on behalf of their tenants, may apply.

To be eligible for the program, residential tenants must:

— Currently live and rent in Chula Vista
— Have a household income at or below 80% of San Diego’s Area Median Income — currently $92,400 per year for a family of four
— Have at least one member of the household who can demonstrate reduction of income or other financial hardship due to COVID-19
— Experience or be at-risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability

SBCS San Diego is partnering with community-based organizations to ensure Chula Vista residents who need assistance are aware of this grant opportunity. These organizations include Chula Vista Community Collaborative, San Ysidro Health, Scripps Health, MAAC, Family Health Centers of San Diego, and San Diego LGBT Community Center.

“SBCS is honored to be the City of Chula Vista’s partner in getting these much-needed Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds out into the community where they can help our neighbors who have been affected by the economic hardships brought on by the pandemic,” said Kathie Lembo, SBCS San Diego president and CEO. “We hope that everyone in need will check to see if they qualify and apply quickly if they do.”

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