Marin County’s application for COVID-19 rent relief is set to close after Aug. 1 amid low funding, the county announced this week.

The county said its $1.7 million in remaining funding “may not be enough to serve the over 300 applications pending under review and on the waitlist.”

People can still apply to join the waitlist, but receiving financial assistance is no longer a guarantee. The county expects the waitlist to close as early as Aug. 1 with its current funds.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program has provided financial assistance to people who have experienced financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 and those who need assistance with back rent due since April 1, 2020.

Now, the county will prioritize applications under review for the lowest income level — below 30 percent of the Area Median Income — or people with an eviction notice for up to three months of assistance. Then, the county will look to aid waitlisted applicants who are both at the lowest income level and have an eviction notice for up to three months of assistance.

More than $15 million distributed

The program has received more than 1,850 applications and distributed more than $15 million in state and federal rental relief funds during its tenure.

While some effects of the pandemic have subsided, more than 600 rental households in the county have received financial assistance in the past eight months alone, amounting to $4.3 million disbursed.

On average, the program disburses between $600,000 and $800,000 each month, according to the county.

“We want to pay for rent, and moreover ensure that we’re able to strengthen our community’s well-being.”

Chandra Alexandre, Community Action Marin CEO

The county program is administered alongside Community Action Marin, a nonprofit providing services for housing, food, childcare and more.

“Our priority continues to be keeping people housed, but the work also encompasses increasing stabilization through supportive services,” Community Action Marin CEO Chandra Alexandre said. “We want to pay for rent, and moreover ensure that we’re able to strengthen our community’s well-being.”

Eligibility for the program

The application does not require residents to disclose immigration status. Applications must be received on or before Aug. 1 to join the waitlist.

Marin County residents must be able to meet one of the following requirements:

• Experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs or experienced other financial hardship during or due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic

• One or more individuals within the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.

• Household income at or below 30 percent of Area Median Income. Income eligibility can be found on the Marin County website.

Additional resources for rental or eviction assistance can be found at the Community Action Marin website. Renters are encouraged to contact Legal Aid of Marin at 415-492-0230, ext. 102, for inquiries on eviction protections.

People can also apply to join the rental assistance waitlist.

Catherine Allen is a data intern through the Dow Jones News Fund. She is a rising senior at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, with a major in journalism and minor in statistics. Catherine previously served as editor in chief of Mustang News, Cal Poly’s multimedia news organization. She is passionate about public policy’s impact on communities and individuals and often writes about housing and homelessness, public health and politics.