(Image courtesy of apt mags.com)

Marin County officials this week released new contact information for residents who need help making the rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tenants seeking financial assistance can now call (415) 473-2223 or email rentalassistance@marincounty.org to learn more about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

The new phone line was created to allow the county’s public information line for COVID-19 to focus on questions about testing, vaccines, and business guidelines.

Applicants for rent assistance will be asked to provide proof of residency and income. Typical documentation includes photo identification with a Marin County address or a utility bill that shows the local address, proof of income, such as a pay stub or a bank statement, and a copy of the first page of a rental lease.

Anyone needing help who doesn’t have the paperwork can work with staff to provide the necessary information.

About $3 million in rental assistance has been provided since the program started in March, when the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved a new local relief fund partnership with the Marin Community Foundation.

About $2.8 million more is available for a round of funding to cover rental payments from September through January, in alignment with the state’s eviction moratorium.

Under the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in August, tenants can’t be evicted before Feb. 1, 2021 as a result of rent owed due to a pandemic-related hardship sustained between March 4 and Aug. 31.

Tenants must pay at least 25 percent of rent due to avoid eviction for a hardship experienced between Sept. 1, 2020, and Jan. 31, 2021.