Occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the moratorium on eviction that has kept many low-income families in their homes, while welcomed and essential, comes with a price; the monies owed are deferred not excused. Even when a household can begin to resume monthly obligations, there is very little likelihood there will be anything extra to pay the deferred balance due. Now, however, California has established a rent relief program that may offer a solution.
How does it work?
Tapping into Federal funds previously earmarked for the state in December 2020, California developed a plan to allow the renter to forgo back payments and provide funds directly to the landlord, who is often struggling with their own obligations of property tax, insurance and mortgage. However, for this to work, the landlord must be willing to accept only 80% of the total due.
- The rent debt period covered in this program is April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021.
- If the landlord agrees to 80%, the money goes directly to the landlord and the remaining 20% is forgiven.
- If the landlord does not agree to accept 80%, the tenant can receive 25% of the total amount owed. (California rules prohibit eviction if 25% of rent owed between September 2020 – June 2021 is received by June 30.)
- Future rent payments of 25% will be available to the tenant.
A tenant must have a 2020 or current income at or below 80% of the median income of the county or area where they reside, must have been financially impacted by the pandemic and must be at risk of facing homelessness or housing instability.
Either the tenant or landlord may apply by calling 833-430-2122 or online.