NewsLocal News


COVID-19 rent relief application deadline approaching

More than $17 million in rent relief
Posted at 6:32 AM, Mar 25, 2022

On March 31st, state-run rental relief programs and eviction protections will end in California.

Tenants with rent that is past due, from any time between April 2020 and March 2022, can apply for up to 18 months of rental assistance. They must also submit proof of a COVID-19 financial hardship and be below 80% of the area median income.

Those without an approved application by April 1st could be at risk for eviction. Only those with approved applications by March 31st will have protections going forward.

"They've really been a saver because COVID just caused all of my tenants to lose their jobs," said landlord Kirk Lindamood.

Lindamood signed up for COVID rental relief in order to house his tenants who lost most of their income due to COVID-19.

"I would have had to have been putting people out who had no money and nowhere to go and maybe no family to go to," said Lindamood.

The application process and approval time vary, leaving some people waiting longer than others.

"We have tenants who have applied, 6, 9 months ago that are still coming up to this deadline and don't know if this application has been approved," said Devon McQuade, Associate Director 5 Cities Homeless Coalition.

"Particularly who was prioritized were those at the lowest income levels and those most at-risk of eviction," said Monica Hernandez, Deputy Director of Communications California Department of Housing and Community Development.

The approval process is highly dependent on the applicant submitting all of the documentation requested.

So far the program has supported more than 214,000 households, keeping multi-generational families together and children in their current school districts.

"The ability to keep kids in the schools that they know because they are going to stay housed where they are and where they know," said Hernandez.

Lindamood is optimistic about the future and said one of his tenants in the hospitality industry was just hired for a new job.

"I won't be able to carry them forever, but the surges have been less and less and jobs are coming back so I think it's going to be alright," said Lindamood.

A bill has been introduced that would extend eviction protections and COVID-19 rental relief in California for another three months. Lawmakers are scheduled to vote on the bill next week.

The application will be available till the deadline online here.