Find Local Assistance to Pay Your Rent and Utility Bills

Emergency Rent & Utility Assistance Program for households impacted by COVID-19

Don’t Lose Your House or Apartment Because of Covid-19

You may be eligible for grant assistance that doesn’t have to be paid back.

The Housing Authority, on behalf of the City of Bakersfield and County of Kern, has a program to provide financial assistance for your rent and utility bills, including past-due bills.

Rent and Utility Assistance is available for current and past-due bills

Assistance from the Housing Authority is available from March 2020 to December 31, 2021, or sooner if funds run out. If you are eligible, you may receive up to 12 months of assistance, plus an additional 3 months to help ensure you’re able to remain in your house or apartment.

The program prioritizes paying late rent or utility bills that could result in your eviction, and grants must be used to reduce any past-due balances before you can receive assistance for future rent payments.

You don't have to be behind on your rent or utility payments to apply. If you rent your home or apartment and your income has been affected by COVID-19, you may qualify for assistance.

How does the Rent and Utility Assistance Program Work?

You Apply

Submit your application for Emergency Rent & Utility Assistance online, by mail or in-person.

We Review

We will review all applications to determine eligibility and grant assistance. We will notify you once a determination has been made.

We Pay

Assistance is paid directly to your landlord or utility company. Under rare circumstances, assistance may be paid to you.

See if You May Be Eligible for Assistance

Help with your rent and utilities is now available if you meet the following requirements:

  1. At least one member of your household qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
  2. Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability;
  3. Have a household income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI); and
  4. Are a renter in the City of Bakersfield or Kern County, including unincorporated Kern County and all other municipalities within the county

Income Limits to Qualify for Assistance

Additional Eligibility Information

  • Rental assistance provided to an eligible household should not be duplicative of any other federally funded rental assistance provided to such household
  • Eligible households that include an individual who has been unemployed for the 90 days prior to application for assistance and households at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income are to be prioritized for assistance.
  • Household income is determined as either the household’s total income for the calendar year 2020 or the household’s monthly income at the time of application. For household incomes determined using the latter method, income eligibility must be redetermined every 3 months.

5 Ways to Apply for Assistance

IMPORTANT UPDATE: As of Monday, March 22, 2021, at 8:00 A.M., our online application portal is live. You may apply using any one of the options listed below.  
  1. City of Bakersfield residents: Click here to apply online
  2. All other Kern County residents: Click here to apply online
  3. Click here to download and print a Tenant Application in English
  4. Click here to download and print a Tenant Application in Spanish
  5. Pick up an application and apply in-person at: 601 24th St, Bakersfield CA 93301

We recommend using Google Chrome for the best online application experience.

Apply Today, Before Funds Run Out

The Emergency Rental & Utility Assistance program lasts until December 31, 2021, or sooner if funds run out. Apply today to find out if you qualify for grant assistance that doesn’t have to be paid back for your current and past-due rent and utility bills.