“Rent Assistance Program” for Costa Mesa and Santa Ana Residents


With $100,000 in funding provided by the Santa Ana City Council, the Safely Home in Santa Ana program seeks to prevent and reduce evictions for low-income residents of Santa Ana.  Through a partnership with The Salvation Army and Catholic Charities of Orange County, the program is intended to be an emergency grant that is issued to pay rent in response to solving an unexpected crisis.  

  • Santa Ana households facing eviction are eligible for up to one-month’s rent as stated in their lease agreement up to the Fair Market Rent for their unit size (see FY 2019 Fair Market Rents table for maximums).  
  • Families facing a financial crisis because of an emergency situation or crisis due to 1) unexpected/unpaid medical expense(s), 2) job loss, 3) nonworking vehicle, or 4) forced reduction of income are eligible for rental assistance up to $1,500 based on need.

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Santa Ana resident 
  2. Notice of eviction for nonpayment of rent (no other reasons may be listed) or proof of financial crisis due to 1) unexpected/unpaid medical expense(s), 2) job loss, 3) nonworking vehicle, or 4) forced reduction of income. 
  3. Documentation as required by the nonprofit organization to determine family size, income, proof of address, and payment to Landlord 
  4. Verification that the family is low-income below 50% AMI (e.g. paystubs, SSI/SSDI, SNAP benefits verification, or Income Verification Affidavit). 
  5. Household must provide proof that they can pay next month’s rent after receiving assistance. 
  6. Higher priority will be given to individuals who have previously been homeless. 

Family income must meet the following Area Median Income (AMI) Limits: 

Application Links:

English         Spanish

Program Guidelines Links:

English        Spanish                                    



For Tenants

What is a moratorium? What does it entail?

The moratorium is intended to provide a critical safety net for tenants during this difficult and unprecedented time. It is not intended as a windfall or “rent vacation” for tenants. Tenants will be required to demonstrate in writing that they have had a substantial loss of income specifically related to COVID-19 and pay all back rents with 120 days of the end of the State-declared emergency.

As always, the best approach, if you find yourself unable to pay all or a portion of your rent as a result of COVID-19, is to contact your landlord and discuss the issue and potential solutions. To lessen the impacts of having to pay back rents within 120 days of the end of the emergency, it is advisable to pay as much of your rent as you can to your landlord. Should your circumstances change (e.g. you begin to receive unemployment payments or other sources of income), we recommend you discuss this with your landlord and increase rent payments accordingly.

REMEMBER: You will be required to pay all back rent within 120 days of the end of the State-declared emergency.

What steps do I need to take in order to apply this to my rent?

First, a tenant must provide information to the landlord that s/he cannot pay all or part of the rent due to COVID-19 related substantial financial impacts (See Section 1.C. of the Regulation). The tenant must provide this in writing to the landlord within 30 days of the rent being due. However, such notice should be given as soon as possible.

A tenant must provide the landlord with written documentation establishing substantial COVID-19 related financial impacts (See Section 1.D. of the  Regulation).

Does this mean I don’t have to pay my rent?

No. The moratorium prohibits new evictions under the terms called out in the moratorium. Tenants must pay their landlords all back rent within 120 days for the end of the State-declared emergency, unless the landlord and tenant agree otherwise in writing.

When does this take effect?

The moratorium took effect immediately upon issuance of the Regulation on April 1, 2020.

What if my landlord tries to evict me?

First, to protect yourself should you qualify, provide written notice and documentation to your landlord that you qualify for relief under the moratorium as soon as you can. (See Sections 1.C. and 1.D. of the Regulation).

Second, provided you qualify and have followed the steps in Section 1.D. of the Regulation, if you have to go to Court, you can provide the Regulation and your evidence that you followed the necessary notification and documentation steps to the judge in your defense.