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Posted on: June 16, 2021

Emergency Rental & Utility Assistance

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Merced County in partnership with the Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC) is now accepting application for Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance. Financial assistance includes payment of rent, rental arrears, utility and home energy costs, and utility and home energy arrears incurred due, directly or indirectly, to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Rental, utility, and home energy assistance shall be provided for a period not to exceed twelve (12) months. An additional three (3) months of assistance may be provided only if necessary to ensure housing stability for a household, and is subject to the availability of funds. Rental, utility, and home energy arrears payments may not be provided for costs incurred before March 13, 2020.  

Eligible households must be located within Merced County with one or more individuals who are obligated to pay rent, and one or more individuals within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits, or experiences a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, which the applicant shall attest to in writing; and can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which may include a past due utility, rent, or eviction notice; unsafe or unhealthy living conditions; and total household income of not more than fifty (50%) of the area median income for households in Merced County.

Households that do not exceed fifty (50%) percent of the area median income with rental, rental arrears, utility and home energy costs, and utility and home energy arrears incurred directly or indirectly, to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are encouraged to reach out to Central Valley Opportunity Center at 209-356-7168, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM, or online at the CVOC website. Households which exceed fifty (50%) percent, but are not over eight (80%) percent of the area median income are encourage to utilize the state Emergency Rental Assistance Program  at the California Housing website.

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