State Launches COVID-19 Rent Relief Program: County Partnership with State Expected to Maximize Assistance to Households Most Impacted by the Pandemic

The State has announced the launch of a CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program, intended to help income-eligible households pay rent and utilities, both for arrears and future payment. Supported by the Federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief 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 CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program is rooted in community, and grounded in its commitment to keep individuals and families housed. California’s network of trusted community based partners is dedicated to providing assistance to tenants and landlords impacted by COVID-19, and is committed to serving people where they live, providing equitable access to program resources and easing the burden on Californians.

The decision by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to Opt-In to the statewide program will offer a singular, uniform framework to be deployed throughout California and avoid unnecessary confusion about competing programs among residents. The Board is confident in the State’s selection of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to serve as the lead agency in the County, tasked with bringing together ground-level partnerships with local communities to assist in the implementation of the program.         

LISC, who is grounded in the community, has the capacity and experience to serve and ensure that the State’s efforts are focused on a commitment to equity, while being culturally relevant, and reaching the residents most impacted by the economic hardship created by the pandemic.  LISC will establish and manage the program’s expansive 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 L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “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 Board of Supervisors supports the efforts being brought forward by the State. To that end, the Los Angeles County Development Authority County (LACDA) has been working closely with the State and its partners to make sure the program will effectively enroll those households most impacted by COVID-19 and whose housing stability has been jeopardized by the pandemic. By partnering with established organizations in hardest hit communities, and continually working together to make the application process seamless, the State will provide person-centered and culturally relevant guidance to Californians most in need of rent relief.

The LACDA will remain actively engaged with the State throughout the rent relief deployment process to provide guidance and technical assistance given the agency’s extensive experience deploying multiple rent relief programs within the past year.  

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 CA COVID-19 Rent Relief 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 am and 7 pm daily.

Published by EastLAChamber

The East Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce advances a strong business climate and vibrant economy by being an advocate for business and a catalyst for community and economic development in East Los Angeles, California.

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