The COVID-19 pandemic delivered a major blow to people who fell behind on their rent, and some are now at risk of losing their housing as a state moratorium on evictions is set to expire.
For renters and landlords, Thursday is the last day to apply for federal relief funds as California lawmakers consider once again extending the temporary eviction ban.
How to apply for relief
The statewide eviction moratorium has been extended a few times, and the Legislature may extend it again, but renters will only be protected if they apply by Thursday on the state website.
The online form determines eligibility then walks the applicant through the steps.
Who is eligible?
Households that make 80% or below of their county’s median income are eligible. That would be nearly $118,000 for a family of four in Santa Clara County.
The assistance can cover some or all of the rent and can even help with utilities.
Those who are unemployed also can apply, as can landlords whose tenants are unable to pay rent.
How long does the protection last?
For now, any eviction proceeding must be paused if people have applied for assistance, thus the importance of Thursday’s deadline. The state’s approval and payment processes have lagged, so many who have applied for aid are still waiting for funds. But they won’t be evicted.
The state Assembly voted this week to extend eviction protections through the end of June, and the Senate still has so consider it. While it is expected to pass, state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco says he doesn’t support it as written.
“I do support the part of the legislation that continues protections for the 120,000 Californians who have applied and are waiting,” Wiener said. “I support that, but the other parts –overriding local eviction protection, removing eviction protection for anyone who has not applied, and barring people from applying starting on Friday — I don’t support that.”
On Friday, landlords can take tenants to court if they are behind on their rent and do not have an application for assistance on file.
Source: NBC Bay Area