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Health, Housing & Community Services Department
Health, Housing & Community Services Department

Housing Retention Program

Residents who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for up to $10,000 in additional assistance through the COVID-19 housing retention grant program.

The City of Berkeley’s Housing Retention Program provides financial assistance to Berkeley tenants to prevent eviction due to non-payment of rent or failed inspection due to excess clutter. Grants are available to households that meet the eligibility criteria below. Submitting an application does not guarantee financial assistance. Application approval requires that each program requirement be met and supporting verifiable documentation provided.

Eligibility Requirements

Note: These eligibility requirements are for the ongoing housing retention assistance program. For COVID-19 related hardship, see COVID-19 housing retention grants.

  • Berkeley residents or Berkeley S+C/Rapid Rehousing tenants who are at imminent risk of losing their permanent housing.
  • Income must be verified by documentation from a third party. 
  • Household requesting assistance must have a signed rental agreement.  If not, lease holder must submit copy of rental agreement and documentation verifying applicant’s tenancy and monthly rent.
  • Monthly income must support monthly expenses.
  • Grant must prevent an eviction.
  • Households must meet one or more of the following requirements and provide supporting documentation verifying below criteria.  
    • Decrease in income 
    • Unexpected medical and/or disability expenses paid without credit.  
    • Fleeing domestic violence       
    • Work-related vehicle expense (vehicle is required for the job supporting documentation from employer may be required) 
    • Other unexpected significant expenses may be considered eligible.     


Maximum Amount of Grant

  • Approved households can receive up to $5,000 as a one-time grant.


Documentation needed for Application

  • Completed Application 
  • Picture ID for all household members older than 18.  
  • Verification of Current Income for all income included in the budget sheet. 
  • A dated Notice of Eviction from landlord stating amount owned for back rent.  A 3-day notice of eviction is recommended.  The Notice of Eviction must be dated in the current month.
  • Rental Agreement or Lease.  If applicant is not on the lease, the lease holder must submit a signed dated letter indicating applicant’s portion of the rent and rent due.  If Section 8 Housing or Shelter Plus Care, copy of Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Agreement.
  • W-9 Form (Tax I.D.) signed by landlord
  • Proof of Building Ownership is needed if not a BHA property
  • Documentation showing decrease in income, unexpected medical/disability expense, fleeing domestic violence, or work-related vehicle expense.
  • You may be asked to provide additional documentation to support your application for financial assistance. 


If you meet the eligibility criteria above and wish to apply for rental assistance, please contact:

The Eviction Defense Center at (510)452-4541


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Health, Housing & Community Services Department, 2180 Milvia Street, 2nd Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-5400
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903