More Than $13 Million in Rental and Utility Assistance Funds Made Available by the County of Santa Barbara through United Way of Santa Barbara County

By Giving List Staff   |   March 5, 2021

Grants intend to prevent homelessness by providing rent assistance to residents. Grant applications can be found by visiting

United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has more than $13 million in rental and utility assistance funds generously allocated by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors for eligible County of Santa Barbara residents, that have experienced a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This Emergency Rent Assistance Program is intended to prevent homelessness by providing rent assistance to residents who can demonstrate the need for rental support.

Upon application approval, applicants may receive up to $6,000 over 3 months toward rental and utility expenses. Applicants can re-apply every 3 months up to maximum of 15 months. Assistance payments to applicants will be paid directly to landlord and/or utility providers on behalf of the applicant.

 “This rental and utility support is a lifeline for families who are dealing with the myriad of economic impacts due to COVID-19,” said Steve Ortiz, President and CEO of United Way of Santa Barbara County. “We are honored to have the County of Santa Barbara’s trust and partnership as we work to distribute these funds and provide significant relief to Santa Barbara County individuals and families during these difficult times,” said Ortiz.

The program will be available to all county residents at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), though qualifying individuals at or below 50 percent AMI will be prioritized. This program has strict eligibility requirements.

The program application process opened February 15 and will be available until all funds are expended or by December 30, 2021, whichever is first. To review eligibility requirements and to apply, please visit

About United Way of Santa Barbara County 

United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has the unique and positive vision that “in our community, everyone has a hopeful future.” Since 1923, UWSBC has served Santa Barbara County community through funding, volunteer development, and by utilizing its own unique initiatives that involve dozens of local nonprofit and public sector agencies. UWSBC’s local community driven Power of Partnership™ priorities help children, families and seniors with a focus on Education, Income and Health. To learn more, please visit


United Way of Santa Barbara County
Phone: (805) 965-8591
President & CEO: Steve Ortiz


Right here, right now, with the Power of Partnership, the United Way of Santa Barbara County is improving lives for children, families, seniors, and you!

Begin to Build a Relationship

We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s Director of Development and/or Executive Director.

Decades of Support

“My family and I have supported United Way for decades, first in Minneapolis and now Santa Barbara. We first knew United Way as our trusted community fundraiser. When United Way of Santa Barbara County expanded its mission to provide direct life-changing research-based services to children and adults, my support only became stronger. Their work to increase access to early childhood education for children and families is particularly dear to my heart and I am proud to support United Way educational programs.”
– Maryan Schall
donor and board member

An Engine of Recovery

Steve Ortiz, United Way of Santa Barbara’s president and CEO, doesn’t see a short-term end to the needs of local residents suffering through the pandemic and its long-term economic impact.
While United Way was able to quickly disburse some $4 million in aid to 2,500 individuals and families and 130 nonprofits, there were thousands more applications than could be processed; thousands of people in need.
To sustain Santa Barbara’s recovery, United Way needs your help.

A Board United

Cliff Lundberg, Chair – Vice President Emeritus, Westmont College
Diane B. Doiron, CLU, Vice Chair – Owner, Doiron Financial Associates
Susan Hersberger, Vice Chair – Retired Public Relations Executive
Leo Hamill, Treasurer – Senior Vice President/Regional Manager, City National Bank
Steve Ortiz, Secretary – President & CEO, United Way of Santa Barbara County
Rick Scott, Immediate Past Board Chair – Nonprofit Executive
Lance Connor – Reliable Engineering Services
David Flattery – Vice President of Business Development, DuPont Displays
Robert Hollman – Commercial Real Estate Developer & Owner
Terrance Holt – General Partner, Red Barn Investments
Alex Koper – President & CEO, Global Mortgage Group
Terri Maus-Nisich – Assistant CEO, County of Santa Barbara
Art Merovick – Retired Executive
Rosemary Mutton – Community Volunteer
Kevin Nelson – Director of Corporate Compliance, Cottage Health
Patrice Ryan – Retired Executive
Maryan Schall – Community Volunteer & Philanthropist