‘This program was truly a blessing’: The facts of the state’s $4 billion rent relief program, national leader in California


SACRAMENTO — California has provided more direct assistance than any other state with rent relief and eviction protection during the pandemic. Over the past 15 months, California’s National Rent Relief Program has provided approximately $4 billion in financial assistance to more than 340,000 renter households, preventing homelessness and providing stability to more than 700,000 Californians. This year’s budget provides an additional $1.95 billion in emergency rent assistance for eligible applicants who applied through March 31, 2022.

“California has the largest and most successful eviction protection and rent relief program in the nation,” Governor Newsom said. “340,000 families were not evicted because of this and the overwhelming majority of aid went to very low income households. Homelessness averted, public health protected, families stabilized.

The California program is the nation’s largest unified emergency rental assistance program, covering approximately 64% of the state’s population, with local emergency rental assistance programs covering the remainder. To date, the state program has spent the most of any program in the country, deploying assistance twice as fast as the closest program in the country. All applications received before March 31, when the application contained the information necessary to establish eligibility, have been paid.

“By working in partnership with a local network of 144 culturally competent community organizations engaging landlords, legal aid groups, local cities and counties, and our federal partner at the U.S. Treasury, we have collectively helped more than one million people in California to remain safely and stably housed. said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramirez. “The pandemic has pushed us to deal with housing instability as an emergency, and the California COVID-19 Rent Relief program has been a crucial lifeline with the financial resources to move with speed and compassion. We are proud of the partnerships established in the administration of the nation’s largest and most successful emergency rental assistance program. »

“This program has truly been a blessing. Since the pandemic arrived, I didn’t have enough money for many things. The program helped me keep food in my fridge, gas in my car. – Alisha, tenant in Los Angeles County.

The numbers below reflect the state program’s top local jurisdictions in terms of amount of assistance and households served.

“The California COVID-19 Rent Relief program is the most successful in the nation, with more than 340,000 households receiving assistance payments,” said Department of Housing and Community Development Director Gustavo Velasquez. “Of all payments made, 86% of supported households are at or below 50% of the region’s median income, which protects our most vulnerable tenants. We have processed all applications received and will pay each eligible applicant.

“This program has been extremely helpful in these difficult times. I have struggled personally throughout, and I am blessed to have received this help. It helped me avoid being placed in a homeless shelter. – Adam, tenant in Los Angeles County.

One-on-one support for applicants needing help with outstanding tasks, appeals, or other help with their application is always available. Candidates are encouraged to call 833-687-0967 to schedule an appointment in the language of their choice. All eligible applicants who submitted complete applications by March 31, 2022 will receive support covering a total of 18 months for the period beginning April 1, 2020 and ending March 31, 2022.

Additionally, legal aid resources are available to help tenants navigate available protections. Free or low-cost legal help is available through www.lawhelpca.org and/or the tenant resource page on HousingIsKey.com.

The state program public dashboard will be updated on July 1, 2022 to reflect this week’s payroll figures which are referenced above. In addition to the latest figures on spending and households served, the public dashboard also includes information on assistance by demographics, jurisdiction, among other programmatic data points.



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