In Major Milestone, California’s Rent Relief Programs Distribute More Than $5 Billion To More Than One Million Residents

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More than $5 billion has been distributed through state and local programs

More than 1.2 million people received assistance in more than 500,000 households

Governor Newsom proposed an additional $2.7 billion in emergency rental assistance in California Blueprint May Revision

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that California’s state and local rent relief programs have reached a major milestone with more than $5 billion having been distributed to help more than 1.2 million Californians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to remain in stable housing. The May revision to the Governor’s California Master Plan proposes an additional $2.7 billion in emergency rent assistance for eligible applicants who applied through March 31, creating a total investment of $8. $1 billion.

“With the largest rent relief program of any state in the country, we have ensured that more than one million Californians stay housed, and we are advancing funds to help more families get back on their feet thanks to this historic effort,” Governor Newsom said. . “As California’s recovery moves forward, the state is committed to continuing its work to ensure the hardest-hit communities have the support and resources they need to thrive.”

Throughout the pandemic, California has had the strongest, longest eviction protections in the country. Statewide eviction protections remain in place through June 30, 2022 for eligible applicants who applied through March 31, with additional local protections in place statewide. The state program has helped those hardest hit by the pandemic, with more than 85% of households receiving housing assistance at or below 50% of the region’s median income.

“Keeping people in stable housing has been a critical part of California’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Secretary of the Agency for Business, Consumer Services and Housing, Lourdes Castro Ramirez. “In partnership with our federal and local partners, we responded quickly and compassionately to address housing insecurity as a health emergency and stabilize more than one million vulnerable Californians.”

As of this week, the state program has provided rental assistance to more than 309,000 households, with an average payment of more than $11,000. With an average of 2.33 people per assisted household, the state program has kept more than 720,000 adults, children and elderly people in their homes. And thanks to the hard work of local jurisdictions running their own rent relief programs, an additional 233,000 households have been served, helping a total of more than 500,000 residents. In total, the number of people kept in stable housing exceeds 1.2 million.

“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, California has responded to the U.S. Treasury’s call to work urgently to get rent assistance dollars into the hands of families in need so they can stay housed during the emergency,” said Gustavo Velasquez, director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development. “Reaching more than a million inhabitants in just over a year is incredible. It is essential that applicants act as quickly as possible to respond to any requested action or response so that they can receive the funding they have requested. »

The milestone comes as the state program announced that case managers reviewed all applications submitted by March 31, 2022, and continue to work with applicants, landlords and tenants, as the state program reviews applications. remaining and distributing relief funds to eligible Californians in need. . 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.

State program dollars have been distributed across California, with City of Los Angeles residents receiving the largest share of funds from California’s COVID-19 Rent Relief program, totaling more than $1 billion for nearly of 86,000 households. Los Angeles, Orange, Contra Costa, and San Francisco City and County round out the top five jurisdictions with tenants assisted to date.

Martha, an Orange County resident, was helped by the state program and local partner network organization, Helpline Youth Counseling. The pandemic has put a strain on her life and she has struggled with health issues. “I couldn’t work and was behind on rent for several months,” she said. “I am so happy that programs like these exist. Completing this application gave me hope that I thought I had lost since COVID-19. »

Adam, a Los Angeles County resident, said the following about the state’s rental assistance program: “This program has been extremely helpful during these difficult times. I have struggled personally throughout and am blessed to have received this help. It helped me avoid being placed in a homeless shelter.

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.

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.

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