Marin County’s Community Development Agency accepted roughly $7.5 million of emergency rental assistance funds from the federal government at the county Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.
County staff must present the board with recommendations for how to specifically allocate the money, but as in the past, the county will issue payment directly to landlords on behalf of renters, according to Angela Nicholson, assistant county administrator.
Nicholson noted that the county requires a form of photo identification in order to verify that the renter who is applying for assistance and the landlord the county would pay qualify for the funds.
“I agree with wanting to, one, make sure there’s no fraud, but also not trying to create more barriers along the way and then also making sure that everyone who needs access to that can get access,” Supervisor Katie Rice said.
Marin currently has $5.8 million for rental assistance, but the county expects an additional $8.2 million from the state early next month, according to Nicholson.
Under the state program for rental assistance, tenants could receive assistance to pay back up to 80 percent of their unpaid rent for the previous year if their landlord agrees to forgive the rest, according to Nicholson. The maximum amount of unpaid rent from the previous year the renters can receive assistance for is 25 percent if the landlord does not agree to the arrangement.
The county is working on creating an online application form for tenants and a registration form for landlords.
“Our priority is to distribute this money quickly, but obviously making sure that we don’t have fraud in the system,” Nicholson said.