Marin County is offering in-person help with federal rental assistance during two events later this month.
Residents who have experienced financial hardships because of the coronavirus pandemic can get assistance on May 19 and May 23.
Both events will take place at Exhibit Hall, in the back of the Marin County Fairgrounds at 20 Avenue of the Flags in San Rafael.
The May 19 event will be from 4 to 8 p.m., and the May 23 event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. No appointments will be necessary to receive assistance, and language translation services will be provided.
Assistance will be available for both landlords and tenants.
The events are being offered by the Marin County Community Development Agency and its community partners. Staff will be available to assist applicants who do not have access to a computer or smartphone or need additional assistance.
People can also receive a COVID-19 vaccine, applications for assistance with PG&E and other community resources.
Low-income Marin residents and landlords can apply to receive 80% of unpaid back rent due between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.
Participating landlords are required to write off the remaining 20% of the unpaid back rent. There was $16 million allocated in February and March to Marin County as part of the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act intended to prevent evictions and homelessness.
So far, money has been channeled directly to landlords for back rent and to coronavirus-affected tenants to cover rent and utilities.
In Marin, more than 3,000 people — predominantly residents of color — have contacted the county for help with unpaid rent related to the pandemic.
The state’s Business, Consumer Services & Housing Agency estimated as many as 1.5 million California renters were behind on rent for reasons tied to the pandemic.
“We realized quickly that those most in need of pandemic-related rental assistance face the most barriers to access a program like this,” said Leelee Thomas, CDA Planning Manager in a statement. “Sometimes it comes down to communication in multiple languages and hands-on assistance, which is why we planned these events. We are determined to ensure equitable distribution of funds.”