Coming down to the wire, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers announced an agreement Friday to extend the state’s eviction moratorium and increase payments for unpaid rent.
Newsom signed legislation last year banning evictions for renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. He previously extended those protections, but they were set to expire June 30.
Now the moratorium will last through September 30, though renters will need to file paperwork with their landlord and pay 25% of back rent if they don't qualify for rental assistance.
If renters do qualify for assistance, the state will now cover all unpaid rent, for up to 15 months. Previously, renters still had to cover a portion.
“Anybody that has been impacted by COVID that owes rent going back to last April … we will pay 100% of that rent,” Newsom said at a press conference Friday. “We will also pay 100% of it going forward through September.
The state will use $5 billion in federal funds for tenant assistance.
The renter relief program has experienced some hiccups. CapRadio reported in May that only a small portion of available funds had been paid to few applicants.
Newsom acknowledged the application process is time consuming, taking up to three hours in some cases. He says the state is working to streamline the process and expand customer service.
You can apply for rent relief online at https://housing.ca.gov/. If you make 80% or less than the area median income and have experienced hardship due to COVID-19, you are likely eligible for the rental relief.
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