The Housing is Key collaborative is encouraging Napa County residents to apply for rent relief. Those in need of assistance may qualify for rent relief and utilities. Three-month forward rent payment is also available. The statewide eviction moratorium will end on Sept. 30, and evictions will likely resume on Oct. 1. The collaborative is encouraging residents to apply for rent relief before evictions resume. The application portal will reopen on Oct. 1.
Rent relief program
California’s Rent Relief Program is key to ending the current affordability crisis. Since it began, the program has assisted over 124,000 renters in need. But while many are hopeful that the program will help them pay off their rent arrears, the wait times have many people concerned. In fact, more than half of the people applying for the program are already facing eviction. The state’s housing crisis has disproportionately affected renters of color and those whose primary language is not English.
The Rent Relief Program is designed to help those who have fallen behind on their rent for at least 90 days. Renters must be income-eligible in order to qualify. Landlords must be willing to accept 80% of the total rent owed – this is called Fair Market Rent. Those who are eligible for the rent relief program can also apply if they are undocumented in the U.S. and cannot pay their rent due to unemployment.
California residents should take notice of changes to eviction protections under the state’s new law. The state’s eviction moratorium expires in October 2020, but some protections will continue through March 31 of 2022. Those eligible to apply for rental assistance must apply by March 31 of 2022. However, the current policy is not perfect and will likely not help all renters facing eviction.
Although most tenants in the state are protected under federal law, the number of eviction cases involving tenants is far larger than previously thought. In some states, landlords can evict a tenant on the basis of a lack of financial ability to pay rent. However, the federal government is helping to protect tenants through eviction moratorium laws. The federal rental assistance program, called COVID-19, is a good source of housing-related information.
Reopening of the application portal
The Hochul administration has reopened the state’s Housing Application Portal to receive applications for rent assistance, a program that provides protection from eviction to indebted tenants. Although the moratorium on rent relief applications expires on Jan. 15, landlord groups are divided over the decision. But it appears the reopening of the portal is a positive step for the state’s rental assistance program. As the state continues to seek federal aid, the reopening of the portal could help tenants and landlords get the money they need to stay put.
MHACY has closed the site-based waiting lists for families and has replaced them with a single list based on the date of application. This new site-based waiting list allows applicants to find apartments based on their preferences and accessibility features. This list is also used to select applicants for Housing Choice Vouchers. Applicants selected from the site-based waiting lists will be offered one apartment, which they can reject or accept.