Where Exactly Is California Rental Assistance Heading To?

Although California is getting $2.6 billion from the federal stimulus bill and an additional $2.2 billion from the American Rescue plan, less than 1% of this federal rent relief has been distributed to California tenants and landlords. This, coupled with the fact that the California eviction ban will end in just over a month, puts thousands at risk of eviction as many still owe thousands in rent.

Additionally, the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate recently released their annual Casden Multifamily Forecast, predicting rising rent prices throughout Southern California. Four Orange County submarkets’ rent prices are forecasted to increase by 3.1% in the north, 3.7% in the west-central, 4.4% in the coastal, and 6.2% in the south of the county. 

Governor Gavin Newsom proposed plans to increase rental assistance to $5.2 billion, in hopes of paying 100% of back rent, and an additional $2 billion to help tenants pay off utility bills. However, for many low-income families, the biggest challenge is saving up the money to pay for the first and last months’ rent. 

Due to the lack of affordable and transitional housing, many motels in the region have become housing for homeless families. These families have full-time jobs and must provide for at least 2-3 children, making it extremely difficult to be able to afford and save the first and last months’ rent and a security deposit on family-friendly apartments for those trying to get out of the motels. 

Our Welcome Home program raises funds to assist families in their transition from a motel to an apartment or condo. At Caterina’s Club, in partnership with Mercy House and Illumination Foundation, we help identify families, provide necessary case managing, financial advising, and the first and last months rent and deposit due at move-in. Caterina’s Club also helps by donating furniture and other home goods to give an extra boost to these families’ new beginnings. 

To date, we’ve successfully helped relocate 233 families, and continue in the mission to help families find safe and family-friendly homes. 

  1. Intro
  2. Rental assistance in CA: https://www.ocregister.com/2021/05/25/state-slow-to-disburse-federal-rental-assistance-tenant-advocates-say/ 
    1. CA eviction ban to end in just over a month, state has been slow to get rental assistance money into hands of landlords → thousands at risk of eviction unless ban is extended
    2. “Less than 1% of federal rent relief has been disbursed in California so far and … tenants and landlords face numerous barriers in the application process”
    3. Despite the moratorium, “the tenants’ rights report said landlords continue to evict tenants, or threaten eviction”
    4. “The report advocates that state lawmakers strengthen and extend the state’s eviction protections ‘until the economy has fully rebounded for low-wage workers.’ they also called on lawmakers to enact a law protecting tenants from negative credit reports caused by the pandemic, saying without such safeguard they will struggle to get housing in the future”
  3. Predictions for the future: https://www.ocregister.com/2021/05/17/rent-drops-forecast-for-central-coastal-portions-of-l-a-county/ 
    1. “If the past year is any indication, apartment rents will continue dropping in central and coastal portions of Los Angeles County through the next year, with rent hikes occurring everywhere else in the Southern California, a University of Southern California multifamily forecast said”
    2. “The USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, which publishes the Casden Multifamily Forecast each year, warned its predictions are uncertain because the data is ‘based on a previous year, unlike any other previous year’” 
    3. Despite billions of $ in rental assistance, many will still owe thousands back in rent, leading to evictions for some
    4. “Eight percent of households in LA and Orange counties reported recently they are ‘housing insecure’”
    5. 4 Orange County submarket rents predicted to rise: 3.1% in north county, 3.7% west-central, 4.4% coastal, 6/2% south county 
  4. Caterina’s Club’s role in helping people find affordable housing
    1. What is CC’s role 
      1. how do they find people, how do they get them into housing, anything else?
    2. What are the impacts felt by the community by this help? 
    3. What is CC’s record? 
      1. how many people have they helped, does this work long-term
  5. Conclusion 
    1. Recap 
    2. The role CC is playing and how this is beneficial to OC
    3. what the community can do to help 
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