City of Irvine Launches $17.7 Million Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Main News Photo

To continue to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on Irvine’s residential renters, the City of Irvine, in partnership with Orange County United Way, will be allocating approximately $17.7 million for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). The program is funded through a combination of federal and state dollars.

The program will provide funding for unpaid rent from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021. For eligible households, the program will pay for up to 80% of unpaid rent if the landlord agrees to forgive the remaining 20%. In cases where landlords are unwilling to participate, 25% of the unpaid rent will be paid. The amount of rental relief was set by California Senate Bill 91.

“I continue to hear from our community about the hardships they face with job loss and financial strains,” said Mayor Farrah N. Khan. “It is vital that we help keep our residents in their homes. The rental assistance program will help us achieve this goal by providing relief for those who have been adversely affected by the pandemic.”  

OC United Way will be administering the Emergency Rental Assistance Program for the City of Irvine. The application period will be from 8 a.m. March 8 to 5 p.m. March 19.

“The financial effects of COVID-19 have been felt across our community, and especially for many residential renters who may be struggling to make ends meet and to pay their monthly rent,” said Susan B. Parks, president and CEO of Orange County United Way. “We are honored to partner with the City of Irvine for their Emergency Rental Assistance Program and to provide critically needed support for their most impacted residents."

This program is only available to eligible residential renters, and will exclude commercial, industrial, or other types of business-related tenants.

The eligibility requirements include:

  • Applicants must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), with applicants below 50% of AMI prioritized first per California State guidelines.
  • Applicants must be residential renters in the City of Irvine.
  • Applicants must have a current and valid lease or proof or rent payment history.
  • Renters must demonstrate a financial hardship as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Applicants must not have received other rental assistance from any other governmental agency, including Section 8 vouchers. Individuals that received grant assistance through the City’s previous Rental Assistance Program are eligible to apply.

Upon closure of the application period, a lottery system will be used to select grant recipients, in order to provide equitable access for all Irvine renters. The lottery will be conducted on or around March 22, 2021, and complete applications will be reviewed for eligibility immediately. The City will pay the rental assistance funds directly to landlords and tenants selected through the lottery. 

For additional information, please visit In addition to English, program information is available in ChineseKoreanSpanishVietnamese, and Farsi.

Category: Irvine News, COVID-19, Pandemic Relief