Newsom details rent relief program; over $1 billion in rental assistance requested so far

California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – State leaders are signaling California will likely not extend its ban on evictions after Sept. 30. 

The move comes as the state works to quickly send rent relief to struggling tenants and landlords. 

“There is money out there to get help, we can sleep better at night,” said Bell Gardens resident Jennifer Estrada. 

Struggling tenants recently approved for state rent relief stood up for the program that Gov. Gavin Newsom said some don’t believe is real. 

California is working to send out $5.2 billion in rental assistance and another $2 billion to help with utilities. Eligible tenants can get 100% of their back and future rent through September paid off, regardless of immigration status. 

Officials said as of Wednesday, the program has received $1 billion worth of requests. 

“It is our goal that everyone who needs this assistance submits their application now,” said California Secretary of Business, Consumer Services and Housing Lourdes Castro Ramirez. 

Past criticism of the state’s rent relief program is that it’s been too slow to distribute money. 

Newsom’s administration launched housingiskey.com to help shorten and simplify the application process. 

Approved applicants at Wednesday’s event who applied June 30 told the governor the money had not yet been paid. 

“The goal that we have is to be able to disperse dollars within 30 days,” Castro Ramirez said. 

The state’s pandemic-related eviction ban for those who struggle to pay rent expires Sept. 30. 

“The likelihood of moving beyond that diminishes every day, particularly as the economy comes roaring back in this state as it has, but not for everybody,” Newsom said. 

Landlord groups like the California Apartment Association called the governor’s comments encouraging. 

The group released a statement, saying in part, “The days of forcing property owners to provide housing without compensation must come to a close.” 

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