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California Launches COVID-19 Rent Relief Program

Need help paying for rent? | Courtesy photo by Maria Ziegler on Unsplash

California has launched a COVID-19 rent relief program intended to help income-eligible households pay rent and utilities, both for outstanding amounts and future payments. Supported by the Federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the program provides financial assistance to income-qualified tenants experiencing housing instability and provides rent reimbursement to landlords for unpaid rent accrued between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has decided to opt-in to the statewide rent relief to minimize confusion about competing programs.

The state selected the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to serve as the lead agency in the county to implement the program. LISC is responsible for establishing and managing the program’s local partner network with community-level partners to ensure that all regional geographies and target communities and tribes throughout California have access to the program.

“The pandemic has exposed and deepened social and economic inequalities in the county, with the burden of the crisis affecting low-income and communities of color,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis. “Too many county residents have lost their jobs, are continuing to experience food insecurity, and facing housing instability and homelessness. The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program will help close the equity gap and meet the needs of both tenants and landlords. This program was developed with community at the core and will serve as a safety net for our most vulnerable.”

The Los Angeles County Development Authority County (LACDA) will remain engaged with the state throughout the rent relief deployment process to provide guidance and technical assistance.  

Emilio Salas, executive director of the LACDA, said, “The state’s program will further bolster the county’s own rent relief programs and address the adverse condition from which many lower income households have suffered due to the pandemic. This additional funding is an effort to help close the equity gap and will provide housing stability for some of our most vulnerable households, especially those in higher need areas.”

Resources and application information are available at HousingIsKey.com. A call center is available to get help answering eligibility questions, for application assistance, and to provide information on local assistance. The call center may be reached by calling (833) 430-2122 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily.

March 16, 2021

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