San Joaquin County’s Housing Authority has been awarded 232 Emergency Housing Vouchers issued through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

According to U.S. Rep. Josh Harder, D-Modesto, the program aims to help those who face homelessness and housing insecurity due to the pandemic.

Landlords and Emergency Housing Voucher recipients may receive incentives, such as security deposit assistance, unit repairs, start utility service, rental application fees, vacancy loss payments, and a one-time leasing bonus, Harder said.

“We passed this new support so we can keep families in their homes and help them get through this tough time,” Harder said in a news release.

The program is based on a referral system where individuals who want to receive a voucher can dial 211 on their phones and they will be connected to a representative who will prescreen them through the 211 system.

The vouchers will provide permanent rental assistance for individuals and families who are fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking. They can be used by anyone experiencing homelessness or at high risk of becoming homeless.

Unlike other short-term housing assistance, the Emergency Housing Vouchers will be funded through September 2023.

Carena Lane, director of rental assistance for the county’s Housing Authority, said as of Thursday 88 referrals had been received.