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Rent assistance in Santa Cruz County.

Non-profits and government programs across Santa Cruz California may be able to provide rent help. Any funds or grants available will be for people faced with a crisis. Applicants also need to meet defined low income and other guidelines, such as need support over the short term only. Most applicants also need to have an eviction notice before receiving emergency rental assistance from any Santa Cruz housing programs.

Temporary rental or secuity deposit assistance, as well as advice and case management, may be offered to tenants who are faced with an eviction. It also assists residents who think they may struggle again in the future. At the same time that funds may be offered, many non-profits and charities will also ensure families in Santa Cruz County meet with a case manager who may be able to direct individuals to longer term solutions. This type of support will include job training, section 8 housing vouchers, or access to more affordable apartments or homes to rent. Almost all financial aid is distributed on a first come-first serve basis.

The Salvation Army Watsonville Corps Community Center – Programs include shelter for single men and women, supportive housing for women transitioning out of an aftercare program or rehabilitation. There is also help for single moms and those escaping domestic violence. 112 Grant Avenue, Watsonville, California 95076. Main number (831) 724-3922

Families in Transition Program – Applicants on the verge of homelessness or who are currently homeless can receive supportive services while enrolled in this program. Qualified clients are assisted in finding and renting permanent housing from private landlords on the open market. A subsidy or no interest loan may also be provided for 6 to 18 months of housing expenses, including rental costs or utilities.

The subsidy paid out for rent will decrease as the family reduces its debt levels and as they increase their income. The FIT program also provides participants with comprehensive social services and case management as well as full supportive services in an effort to obtain self sufficiency. Call (831) 728-9791

Santa Cruz Housing Authority Rental Assistance - The main program is section 8. The agency also offers applicants a variety of rental and housing assistance programs for low income households in Santa Cruz County. 2931 Mission St., Santa Cruz, California 95060-5709, call (831)454-9455.





Last Month’s Rent Guarantee Program / Security Deposit - If you can afford to pay monthly rent going forward, but do not have sufficient funds to stabilize the situation, then help may be provided. This program may help people pay their last month’s rent, moving costs or the security deposit or other expenses. The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz administers this security deposit program for residents in the County. 2931 Mission Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-54709. Telephone (831) 454-9455.

Homeless Services Center – Supports individuals and families who are homeless. It provides coordinated transitional and emergency services which will enable them to achieve self-sufficiency. The phone number is (831) 458-6020.

St. Vincent De Paul Society Of Santa Cruz - May provide emergency housing and rental assistance to people in need. All financial aid depends on available funding. 210 High Street, Santa Cruz, California 95060, dial (831) 423-0878

The Salvation Army Santa Cruz Corps Community Center – Social services, case management, shelter, and emergency housing. Main number is (831) 426-8365.

Santa Cruz Human Services Department - General Assistance Program. This is a short term loan that can also be used for housing. It is for disabled, senior citizens or unemployed adults who are not currently receiving other government benefits and public aid. (831) 454-4165

Continuum of Care and homeless prevention - Several agencies in Santa Cruz County combine resources. They offer cash grants for back rent or energy costs, free motel vouchers, shelter and more. The goal is to stop evictions and rehouse families. More on Santa Cruz County eviction and rehousing assistance.





Valley Churches United Missions offers many programs. There is food, emergency rent or mortgage help, shelter, gasoline, and deposit programs. They provide food to stop hunger and money for rent to stop homelessness. Address is 9430 Love Creek Road, Ben Lomond, California 95005. Dial 831-336-8258.

Senior Citizens Legal Services (call 831-426-8824) and California Rural (dial 831-724-2253) both offer free legal aid. This can be used to stop evictions from landlords or mediate solutions. There is help for immigrants, the elderly, and other low income tenants.

Community Action Board runs an emergency housing assistance program. CAB provides people faced with an eviction short term rental assistance. It is offered when a tenant faces homelessness due to one-time cash-flow problems and therefore lacks the funds to pay their most recent, upcoming rent payment.

Low income individuals or families who are vulnerable to eviction from one time challenges from unexpected bills such as a reduction in work hours, a car break down, or a short term medical condition may apply. So the non-profit agency provides help in a crisis. The Board may assist a household with emergency rental assistance for about one and a half months upon proof of an impending eviction. Address is 406 Main Street, Suite 207, Watsonville, California 95076, (831) 763-2147 or stop by 501 Soquel Ave # E Santa Cruz, CA 95062-2322. Phone (831) 457-1741




Catholic Charities Of The Diocese Of Monterey Watsonville Office covers all of Santa Cruz County. Provides resources and services including emergency rent and utility assistance, citizenship and immigration assistance, and more. 217 E Lake Avenue, Watsonville, California 95076, phone (831) 393-3110.


By Jon McNamara

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