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Rental assistance in San Diego California.

There are several places to go to for rent assistance in the San Diego area. Some may provide direct cash grants or they give referrals. There are government programs and local charities that help with rent, security deposits or moving costs. Other agencies will offer options like the section 8 housing voucher program. Learn about several organizations and government programs below.

Any emergency rental assistance is combined with budgeting, employment and other resources. Some agencies in San Diego County also provide free motel or hotel vouchers and accept applications to Section 8 Housing. Find how to get help with paying rent, free legal aid to stop evictions and other housing services.

Agencies that help pay rent or security deposits in San Diego County

Housing Authority of the County of San Diego - They administer several rental assistance programs, including the section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. This will in effect ensure that qualified low income individuals and families do not pay more than thirty percent of their income towards housing costs or an apartment.

They also provide state rental and information on public housing programs or assist low income families with buying a home. Call (858) 694-4801. You must live or work in an unincorporated area of San Diego County, or in Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach, or Vista.  If you live outside of these areas, there are 5 other Housing Authorities in San Diego County. Contact the one for the city you live in.

St. Vincent de Paul Village, Fr. Joe's Village, San Diego - Dial 619.233.8500. No matter your race, religion, or background, St. Vincent DePaul may be able to provide assistance. Many local churches and parishes are part of this charity organization, and a number of financial assistance and counseling programs are offered. Some money for paying rent and other housing expenses is often distributed to the low income, unemployed and needy in the San Diego California area.

Salvation Army - San Diego. Residents that are in danger of losing their home or that are facing eviction, the San Diego Salvation Army may have limited funds for helping with back rent. There are multiple sites. Call (619) 239-1106. Or locations include:

  • 4170 Balboa Avenue, San Diego California 92117. For information on housing or financial help, call 858-483-1831
  • 648 - 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista, California 91910, Call 619-422-7027

Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing (HPRP) is administered by the Housing Authority of the County of San Diego as well. The resource was created from the federal government using ESG grants as well as the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. It is funded yearly.

You can apply for rent payments to be made to your landlord for paying security deposits, rent arrearage, utility and energy bills, moving costs, and basically any type of housing expenses that an individual  may have. The goals is to keep the family in their home or apartment.




All sorts of rent subsidies and assistance is offered to eligible families (which includes low income and people facing a crisis). All applicants who are qualified can receive up to 12 months of housing/rent assistance. The phone number for this housing authority is noted at the top of this page. Call 211 for details, or learn more on homeless prevention and rapid rehousing.

The San Diego Housing Commission - This government agency focuses on serving the residents of the city of San Diego and the immediate area, so they focus on that region. 619.231.9400

San Diego County Housing Authorities – These are great places to call for rent and housing assistance, referrals, and other forms of support. Single parents, seniors, and the disabled may be given rent subsidized apartments. Both locations may offer referrals, information on low income housing, and rental assistance subsidies.

  • Housing Authority of the County of San Diego (dial (858) 694-4832)
  • Community Development Commission of National City - (619) 336-4241

City of Encinitas Community Development - Call the Housing Department at (760) 633-2724. Staff can go over options, including housing assistance information.

The local community action agency is the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency, Community Action Partnership (Community Action Partnership of San Diego County). For referrals to programs. call them at (800) 227-0997. They can provide qualified individuals with money for paying rent, prevention an eviction from their apartment, and even vouchers that can be used to pay for a motel or hotel room for a period of time.

City of Oceanside Housing Department - Phone (760) 435-3360. Get information on housing and rental resources in that part of San Diego County.

City of Carlsbad Housing and Redevelopment Department - (760) 434-2810. Several programs are offered for San Diego County California renters and individuals, including a federal funded rental assistance program.

Home Start may have occasional grants from the federal EFSP program. This may offer either a one time emergency grant or zero interest loan for paying expenses such as rent, a security deposit for the homeless, or maybe other costs, such as energy bills. Applicants need to be on the path to self-sufficiency.





Townspeople, which is located at 4080 Centre Street, Suite 204 (phone (619) 295-8802) may be able to assist HIV/AIDS clients living in the County of San Diego. Receive up to 5 months of money to help pay rent or other housing related expenses.

Nice Guys of San Diego, Inc. offers temporary, emergency assistance. The exact types and amounts of rent and housing assistance varies. People receive assistance one time only. In addition to rental needs, individuals may qualify for food, energy bills, transportation, and more.

South Bay Community Services, located on 1124 Bay Boulevard, Suite D in Chula Vista, will negotiate payment plans. Work with a counselor who will negotiate a payment plan between the landlord and tenant. The goal is to help provide short term relief on either current or back rent that may be due. The process can even help with a security deposit.  (619) 420-3620

Referrals from INFO LINE may be available to local non-profit agencies that offer Rental Assistance Programs to low income and/or unemployed individuals/families. Resources are limited. Some lower income applicants or clients on the path to self-sufficiency may be issued a loan that needs to be repaid, or callers can learn about government grants for paying rent, low income apartments, and more. Call 1-800-227-0997, or in the city of San Diego, the number is (619) 230-0997.

Housing and Community Development, County of San Diego, runs the federal government funded  Section 8 housing rental assistance program, and it is currently offered to qualified families and individuals. This is the federal government voucher program that limits participants to pay 30% of monthly income toward rent expenses. 3989 Ruffin Rd, San Diego, California. Dial 858-694-4890 Section 8/Public

Just In Time for Foster Youth – Offers emergency rental assistance for former foster youth, ages 18 to 26, in San Diego county. Must be employed and/or in school to apply. (760) 505-6647

Community Resource Center is a San Diego based non-profit that can provide immediate financial support and assistance programs to people in an unexpected emergency or crisis situation. Assistance that may be provided  includes money to pay rent, interview clothing, vehicle repair, referrals to local charities and housing programs, and much more.

The San Diego center also can provide a 6-month rental assistance program for domestic violence survivors or people who are experiencing domestic abuse now. The program provides a depreciating rental subsidy over a 6-month period, recipients must participate in support services in order to receive monthly subsidy. Last, but not least, the Community Resource Center can also offer emergency rental help (if someone has a 3-day notice) to seniors 60 years and older, families with children, the gravely ill, and to disabled individuals who live in Oceanside California only. Dial (760) 505-6647, or more information on housing and rent assistance from San Diego community action.

The local version of the San Diego Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program is offered by North County Lifeline INC. (Vista, CA (760) 726-4900), City of Oceanside (phone (760) 435-3380), Community Resource Center in Encinitas (dial (760) 753-8300). This low income housing program offers housing and rent assistance for families and individuals. Deposit and storage costs may also be paid in San Diego County.

Get assistance with rental expenses and utility bill assistance. Services are currently available for low-income families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Other components of the resource include rental assistance, credit counseling , housing relocation, and stabilization services including landlord/tenant mediation, security or utility deposits, moving cost assistance, and case management.







Tenants Legal Center runs a touch tone telephone line that can provide free information on legal issues, including housing and eviction laws in California. Learn about security deposit programs, leases, evictions rights and obligations when it comes to paying rent. Housing or apartment discrimination can be addressed too. 858-571-7100

ESG - Emergency Solution Grants are available for various housing expenses. The federal funded program can provide money for paying rent, moving costs, or security deposits along with coordinate other services such as the following.

  • Funds can help with energy bills to stop evictions.
  • Free motel vouchers along with shelters may be provided for rehousing.
  • Emergency rental assistance is for single mothers, Spanish speakers, families living in poverty, seniors and others. There is no discrimination based on age or race. More on eviction help in San Diego.

Legal Aid Society of San Diego offers advice, representation and support for rent and housing challenges. They can addresses landlord-tenant issues, Section 8 housing denials, and obligations on security deposits. The firm is pro-bono. (877) 534-2524

St. Vincent de Paul Village San Diego, a partner with Fr. Joe's Village offers help to people of all backgrounds and religions, including rent assistance. There are also homeless shelters and support for immigrants. Call 619.233.8500.

General San Diego housing assistance programs shelters, and transitional housing

The charities and churches below may offer financial aid for back rent, moving costs or energy bills. There are also programs for immigrants or safe housing for women in San Diego County who are fleeing violence.

  • Domestic Violence Shelter Aid 1-888-DVLINKS
  • Homeless Outreach Team (phone 692-8750), 1250 Morena Blvd.
  • INFOLINE (619) 230-0997 / (800) 227-0997
  • MAAC Project rental & utility assistance 588-4323
  • Neighborhood House mortgage assistance 263-7761
  • Rachel’s Women’s Center (phone 696-0873), 759 8th Avenue (women only)
  • San Diego Housing Authority Section 8 231-9400
  • St. Vincent de Paul Village (phone 233-8500), 1501 Imperial Ave. (families, men & women)
    7:00 A.M. Singles 10:00 A.M. Families
  • Salvation Army Emergency Lodge (phone 231-6030), 835 7th Ave. for families 9:00 A.M.-6:00 P.M call first
  • San Diego Rescue Mission, 120 Elm St. at First St. (families, men & women), M, W, F 9:00 A.M. intakes, 7:00 P.M. emergencies
  • Set Free Ministries (East County) 447-4498/442-0457
  • Store Front (phone 1-888-PLACE2STAY), 1039 12th St. (12-17 yrs. old)
  • TRAVELERs AID D.V. Situations, At SD Family Justice Center 12:00-4:30 M-F
    V.A. Homeless Outreach Veterans only
  • YWCA 1012 C St. @ 10th (women only) phone number 239-0355


By Jon McNamara

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