SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – California’s COVID-19 Rent Relief Program on Monday reaches a significant milestone.

According to the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom, by the end of today, more than $1 billion in rent and utility assistance has been paid or approved for payment, assisting over 74,000 additional households.

“In just six months, we have provided essential assistance to more than 44,000 households to keep families safely housed,” said Governor Newsom. “Our program has been so successful that cities like Los Angeles decided to join efforts with the state to have an even greater impact.”

More than $526 million of the $1 billion in rental and utility assistance has already been distributed to 44,432 low-income California households who suffered financial hardship because of the pandemic.

Both renters and landlords can apply for assistance.

>> Learn more about the application process here.

Starting Oct. 1 through March 31, 2022, tenants earning less than 80% of the area median income will be protected through a pre-eviction diversion process through the courts so long as they have submitted a completed application for rental relief through either the state or a locally administered program.

“We have been moving with a sense of urgency to ensure that renters and landlords who need assistance can get it as quickly as possible,” said Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Director Gustavo Velasquez. “Keeping families stably housed continues to be a critical public health measure, as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

You can see the state’s overall rent relief numbers and more on the California COVID-19 Rent Relief Program dashboard.

State officials are urging residents to seek COVID-19 rent relief funding in advance of the state’s eviction moratorium ending Thursday. In addition to the state’s moratorium ending, some local eviction moratoria are also set to end Thursday, including Contra Costa County’s.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the entirety of the funds has been allocated, according to the state.

For more information, visit the state’s website here.