Sonoma County logoThe County of Sonoma has awarded $2.37 million to local nonprofits for Sonoma County residents whose ability to pay rent has been impacted by COVID-19, as well as to low-income landlords who have lost income as a result of COVID-19.

The nonprofits, which include West County Community Services; Friends in Sonoma, Helping; Petaluma People Services and Community Action Partnership (in partnership with La Luz and Corazon Healdsburg), stand ready to assist residents. This action is part of a multi-faceted and comprehensive allocation of Sonoma County’s CARES funding to address the economic and equity impacts of COVID-19.

“The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors carefully considered how to use CARES funding, and we prioritized short-term emergency rental assistance for low-income tenants and low-income landlords,” said Chair of the Board of Supervisors Susan Gorin. “This funding could help approximately 930 Sonoma County households, depending on the amount of assistance needed per household.”

Residents can receive up to $6,000 for six months of rental assistance, which can include current and back payments of rent and utilities. Renters and landlords may contact the nonprofits for application information.

The contracts with nonprofits include the following funding amounts:

  1. West County Community Services – $350,000
  2. Friends in Sonoma, Helping – $200,000
  3. Petaluma People Services – $600,000
  4. Community Action Partnership (with La Luz and Corazon Healdsburg) – $1,227,000

To ensure that assistance is provided to the people who need it most, applications will require renters to prove that they live at the residence and can provide appropriate paperwork indicating loss of job or income loss due to COVID-19. Eligible applicants must demonstrate that they have not been able to pay or have not received rental payments for any period of time starting March 1, 2020 and will need to certify that the reason is related to COVID-19. Self-certification of these conditions will be accepted.

The goal of the CARES Act Relief Fund is to promote recovery by providing funding to support the needs of those impacted by COVID-19. Sonoma County was allocated $50.6 million of  CARES Act funds  and requires that funding be used to cover costs that:

  • Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID–19;
  • Were previously unbudgeted costs of necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency; and
  • Were incurred during the period that began on March 1, 2020 and ends on December 30, 2020.

Funds must be spent by December 30, 2020. For more information on Sonoma County’s funding awards, please visit the CARES rental assistance page.

In addition to prioritizing CARES funding for renter and low-income landlord assistance, the Board of Supervisors on Sept. 1 allocated CARES funding for the following community needs:

  1. $2.5 million to support small businesses, with a focus on local small businesses that were unable to secure CARES Act Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) and Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury funding.
  2. $1.5 million to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Sonoma County’s Latinx residents by reaching high-risk populations and providing emergency financial assistance and case management services.
  3. $1.5 million for food programs for those with food insecurity as a result of COVID-19.

All Sonoma County’s residents have been touched by the health, economic and social impacts of COVID-19. The County will continue to allocate CARES Act funding and other available funds to support Sonoma County residents through this worldwide pandemic.