Eviction Information & Eviction Assistance

San Diego County Eviction & Rehousing Help

The purpose of eviction prevention in San Diego County is to provide emergency assistance to low-income tenants as well as people who are at risk of becoming homeless. There is support for households with children, single mothers, seniors, and even residents without children if one of the occupants is temporarily or permanently disabled. The programs offer clients several options.

Legal Resources 

If you believe you have been unlawfully evicted, or if you need legal advice, you should consult with an attorney. If you need low or no cost legal help, please visit lawhelpca.org and/or Tenant Resources.

Locally, the Legal Aid society of San Diego can assist with housing, debt collection, repossession, sales contracts, family law, immigration, tax problems, conservatorships, restraining orders and SSI.

For advocacy against housing discrimination reach out to CSA of San Diego County.

Emergency Solution Grants

The money to pay for this service is mostly from Emergency Solution Grants (ESG). This is administered nationally by the Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD) and applications are taken locally in San Diego by non-profits such as those listed through the San Diego County website.

In order to qualify for a grant for rental arrears, or legal aid to stop an eviction, each agency has its own criteria. They may include, but are not limited to, the following requirements:

  • The tenant must be a resident of San Diego County.
  • There needs to be an eviction, or pay or quit notice from their landlord, or even a foreclosure notice from a mortgage holder.
  • Any money for rental arrears must prevent the eviction from occurring.
  • The family needs to prove the ability to pay future rent and bills on their own.
  • No other resources, whether from a local charity or Department of Human Services, can be available.
  • Income levels need to be met, and the San Diego County tenant must meet those which are based on certain poverty levels.

Terms of Funding
At any time the funding available for the various programs can run out. But the referral services will still try to direct the interested party to another local resource for paying security deposits or back rent. They will always do their best to aid if at all possible.

The courts, as well as local municipal offices, will declare a home without water or electricity as uninhabitable. So, if the tenant has an eviction notice due to unpaid utility or water bills, the ESG grants can help bring some of those arrears current.

ESG grants are for tenants threatened with an eviction who are in high need for housing. There may be money available for tenants or the homeless, and the funds are for individuals. Any funding paid out for rent or a deposit will be based on their poverty and/or employment status. In general, HUD funds are only as a last resort for those with a source of employment.

If someone is now currently homeless, Rapid-Rehousing is also available. This was envisioned by HUD to either replace or reduce the usage of shelters. Instead, it relies on placing the family as quickly as possible into a new home along with providing them ongoing support services.

Usage of Funds
To make this successful, grants from ESG are used to pay for credit repair classes, lease application fees, and security deposits. Lawyers from San Diego County will also provide legal aid so that the tenant understands their rights when leasing an apartment. If the individual is not immediately ready to move, then storage fees can be paid for a very short period of time. Similar to some of these other eviction assistance programs, each agency will decide on its own how to most effectively use this money.

San Diego County administering agencies also coordinate case management as part of Emergency Solution Grants. This combines providing information on childcare for single parents with general job training/placement. The intent is that over time the client will be able to increase their income and learn how to budget more properly, thereby increasing their ability to pay for their own housing without a subsidy. This form of support is used to break the cycle of poverty and/or homelessness.

Motel / Hotel Vouchers
Some of the agencies in San Diego County, such as the Interfaith Shelter Network, may provide motel vouchers. This too will be a last resort. When available, it is generally restricted to when all of the local overnight shelters are full. Or in the event the waiting list for a transitional housing units are backed up.

There may also be a free motel vouchers for currently homeless individuals. These are mainly for when the individual has a serious medical issue that would be made worse if they do not have a place to stay. It is targeted at clients that may otherwise be facing a health or safety crisis. This can also often help those being discharged from a local hospital.