Resources for Tenants

Legal Aid of Sonoma County provides free, comprehensive representation for low-income tenants in housing matters, including eviction defense, Housing Choice Voucher issues, mobilehome park issues, and habitability issues.

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Resources to Help Understand COVID-19 Protections for Tenants – Effective January 2021

Legal Aid of Sonoma County has created resources to help explain COVID-19 protections for tenants. These resources are designed to help Sonoma County tenants and landlords understand California’s COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 and new local protections in Sonoma County.

Evictions for Nonpayment of Rent: If you lost income or have increased expenses from COVID-19, your landlord cannot evict you, as long you as you take steps to protect yourself.

Evictions Unrelated to Nonpayment of Rent: If you live in Sonoma County, you cannot be evicted unless there is an imminent threat to health or safety OR your landlord is taking the property off the rental market.

Resources Include:

  • One-page flyer about COVID-19 protections for tenants Download >>
  • Copy of a Declaration of COVID-19-Related Financial Distress Download >>
  • Monthly Rent Template Letter that tenants can send to their landlord instructing them to apply any rent payments to the current month – this version is for September but tenants can update it for any month they are able to make a rent payment. Download >>

Resources Include:

  • One-page flyer about new COVID-19 protections for tenants Download >>
  • Copy of a Declaration of COVID-19-Related Financial Distress Download >>
  • Monthly Rent Template Letter that tenants can send to their landlord instructing them to apply any rent payments to the current month – this version is for September but tenants can update it for any month they are able to make a rent payment. Download >>

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Get Proactive as a Tenant

Here are proactive ways to advocate for yourself and bolster your rights as a tenant:

  • Attend city council meetings and Board of Supervisor meetings when housing policies that effect tenants are on the agenda. Let your elected officials know that you support tenant-friendly policies like rent stabilization and just-cause eviction!
  • Familiarize yourself with major provisions of landlord-tenant law.
  • Check your lease if you are unclear about something.
  • Try to maintain a positive, friendly relationship with your landlord.
  • Talk to your landlord when you have an issue.
  • Seek legal help.
  • Make reports to Code Enforcement if you feel your unit is not being adequately maintained by your landlord.
  • Pay your rent even if you think your landlord is doing something wrong. You can recover paid rent in Small Claims Court.
  • Document everything! Get receipts, take pictures, have witnesses, put important communications with your landlord in writing.
  • Talk to your neighbors. Form a tenants’ association or join the Sonoma County Tenants Union to get support. Contact the Sonoma County Tenants Union at 707-387-1984 or sctu707@gmail.com

Additional Resources for Tenants

Sonoma County Housing Authority Opens New Project-Based Voucher Waitlists for Apartment Units in Sonoma

Application period open until Dec. 18, 2020. Separate applications are required for each waitlist.

SANTA ROSA, CA –– The Sonoma County Housing Authority will accept applications from Nov. 16 through Dec. 18 for new Project-Based Voucher Waitlists tied to one, two and three-bedroom units at Altamira Family Apartments in Sonoma, CA. Applicants who are selected from the waitlist will have an opportunity to apply for rental assistance for a specific unit at the specified property.

One-bedroom waitlists are for households consisting of one to four persons. Two bedroom waitlists are for households consisting of two to six persons. Three bedroom waitlists are for households consisting of three to eight persons.

Those interested in applying to the Altamira Family Apartments Project Based Voucher waitlists, must submit an application during this application period. A separate application is required for each waitlist.

The Housing Authority will conduct a random lottery to determine applicants’ placement on each waitlist. The one-bedroom waitlists will be limited to no more than 300 applicants, the two-bedroom waitlist will be limited to no more than 150 applicants and the three-bedroom waitlist will be limited to no more than 100 applicants.

Applications may be completed online at www.waitlistcheck.com/CA085. If you require a paper application, please contact the Housing Authority office by calling (707) 565-7501.

Applications are due Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, by 5 p.m. if submitted into the drop-box at the Housing Authority’s offices, or by 11:59 p.m. if submitted online.

If you are a person with a disability who requires a disability-related accommodation to access any programs, services or activities provided by the Sonoma County Community Development Commission or the Sonoma County Housing Authority, contact (707) 565-7500/TDD (707) 565-7555. Translation services will be made available upon request.

The Housing Authority reminds the public that fees-for-service or credit card numbers are never collected when applying to Housing Choice Voucher or Project Based Voucher Waitlists. It is not uncommon for scammers to create fraudulent websites that look authentic: their names may say “Section 8” and they might show an Equal Housing Opportunity logo. Such sites will take the applicant’s money and sell their personal information.

If you find a website that seems fraudulent, please file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and email the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at Hotline@HUDOIG.gov. The only legitimate website to apply to the Sonoma County Housing Authority Project Based Voucher waitlists for the Altamira Family Apartments is www.waitlistcheck.com/CA085.

For more information, contact the Sonoma County Housing Authority at (707) 565-1848/TDD (707) 565-7555 or scha.update@sonoma-county.org.

PUBLICACIÓN DE PRENSAPARA PUBLICACIÓN INMEDIATA

Nov. 18, 2020… La Autoridad de Vivienda del Condado de Sonoma abre una Nueva Lista

De Espera para Vales de Proyecto Basado para apartamentos en Sonoma

El período de solicitud está abierto hasta el 18 de diciembre de 2020.

Se requieren solicitudes por separado para cada lista de espera.

SANTA ROSA, CA –– La Autoridad de Vivienda del Condado de Sonoma aceptará solicitudes desde el 16 de noviembre hasta el 18 de diciembre para las nuevas listas de espera para Vales de Proyecto Basado atados a unidades de una, dos y tres habitaciones en Altamira Family Apartments en Sonoma, CA. Los solicitantes que sean seleccionadas de la lista de espera tendrán la oportunidad de solicitar asistencia para el alquiler de una unidad específica en la propiedad especificada.

Las listas de espera de un dormitorio son para hogares que constan de una a cuatro personas. Las listas de espera de dos habitaciones son para hogares que constan de dos a seis personas. Las listas de espera de tres habitaciones son para hogares que constan de tres a ocho personas.

Aquellos que estén interesados en presentar una solicitud para las listas de espera de Vales de Proyecto Basado para los apartamentos de Altamira Family Apartments, deben enviar una solicitud durante este período de solicitud. Se requiere una solicitud por separado para cada lista de espera.

La Autoridad de Vivienda llevará a cabo una lotería aleatoria para determinar la ubicación de los solicitantes en cada lista de espera. Las listas de espera de un dormitorio se limitarán a no más de 300 solicitantes, la lista de espera de dos dormitorios se limitará a no más de 150 solicitantes y la lista de espera de tres dormitorios se limitará a no más de 100 solicitantes.

Las solicitudes se pueden completar en línea en www.waitlistcheck.com/CA085. Si requiere que se le mande una solicitud por correo, por favor llame a la oficina de la Autoridad de Vivienda al (707) 565-7501.

Las solicitudes se deben presentar antes del viernes 18 de diciembre de 2020 a las 5 p.m. si se presenta en el buzón de las oficinas de la Autoridad de Vivienda, o antes de las 11:59 p.m. si se envía en línea

Si usted es una persona con una discapacidad que requiere una adaptación relacionada con la discapacidad para acceder a los programas, servicios o actividades proporcionados por la Comisión de Desarrollo Comunitario del Condado de Sonoma o la Autoridad de Vivienda del Condado de Sonoma, llame al (707) 565-7500 / TDD (707) 565-7555. Servicios de traducción están disponibles bajo petición.

La Autoridad de Vivienda desea recordar al público que nunca se cobra una tarifa por el servicio ni se pide el número de una tarjeta de crédito cuando se solicita entrar en las Listas de Espera de Vales de Elección de Vivienda. No es raro que los estafadores creen sitios web fraudulentos que parezcan auténticos: los nombres pueden decir “Sección 8” y pueden mostrar un logotipo de Igualdad de Oportunidades de Vivienda. Esos sitios tomarán el dinero del solicitante y venderán su información personal.

Si encuentra un sitio web que parece fraudulento, por favor, presente una queja ante la Comisión Federal de Comercio y envié un correo electrónico al Departamento de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano de los Estados Unidos al Hotline@HUDOIG.gov. El único sitio web legítimo para solicitar la entrada a la lista de espera de lotería de Vales de Proyecto Basado de la Autoridad de Vivienda del Condado de Sonoma para Altamira Family Apartments es www.waitlistcheck.com/CA085.

Para obtener más información, comuníquese con la Autoridad de Vivienda del Condado de Sonoma llamando al (707) 565-1848/TDD (707) 565-7555 o scha.update@sonoma-county.org.