Emergency Housing Assistance

In an effort to: (1) encourage landlord participation in Orange County rental assistance and other subsidy programs, (2) assist with housing stabilization and mitigate displacement of low- and very low-income residents, and (3) prevent homelessness, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) created the pilot Risk Mitigation and Housing Displacement Fund. The Fund, which is administered by the Orange County Department of Housing and Community Development Department (OCHCD), provides assistance in three activity areas:

  • Risk Mitigation (for landlords)
  • Emergency Housing Assistance (renter assistance for security deposits, utility connections, etc.)
  • Displacement Mitigation (due to an urgent community need such as manufactured home park closures and natural disasters)

Emergency Housing Assistance

Assistance under this activity area is available to households in Orange County that (1) earn no more than 60% of the area median income (AMI), (2) can demonstrate urgent need for housing assistance, and (3) do not have adequate savings to cover their housing costs. 

Eligible Costs 

Emergency Housing Assistance may pay for security deposits, utility connections and arrears, rental payments and arrears, and, in certain emergency situations and upon OCHCD approval, other urgent housing-related costs (e.g., short-term stays in hotels, moving costs), especially for hard-to-house individuals and families, such as large families with children, seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and people with justice system involvement. Emergency Housing Assistance may not duplicate any assistance provided by any other program.

Maximum Assistance

Households earning no more than 30% of AMI may be assisted up to three times. Households earning no more than 60% of AMI may be assisted up to two times. The total amount of assistance provided to any household may not exceed $4,000.

Rent and utility payments may only cover arrears and/or payments for the current month or next upcoming month; assistance will not be granted for months further in the future. For example, if an applicant applies on June 15, assistance may be granted to cover any arrears for past rent owed, rent owed in the current month (June), rent to be owed in the upcoming month (July), but not for rent owed in future months (August or beyond). However, applicants may request assistance again in future months, if needed, up to the $4,000 maximum.

Applying for Emergency Housing Assistance

Complete an Emergency Housing Assistance application (which can be downloaded below) and provide:

  • Documentation verifying total gross household income and savings (see the Emergency Housing Assistance Application for a checklist of the acceptable source documentation)
  • Copy of the lease or other documentation from the landlord showing the client has been approved to live at the identified unit and amount of funds needed, as applicable
  • Statement or invoice from utility provider, as applicable

Refer to the resources below for more information. For more information or to submit applications by email, contact HousingHelp@orangecountync.govApplicants requesting repeat assistance should email to request a Supplemental Application. 

EHA Infographic June 2020