SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) today announced it has received an additional $62 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury to continue the state's successful implementation of the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program.
"While we are grateful for the infusion of additional federal resources from the U.S. Treasury, California will need significantly more funding from future federal reallocations in order to continue to meet the needs of low-income California renters impacted by COVID-19," said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez. "The state is doing its part and prioritizing the most vulnerable renters, and we will continue to work closely with our partners at the U.S. Treasury to advocate for equitable reallocations in subsequent rounds of funding, specifically through a needs-based approach, in order to help those most at risk of eviction and homelessness stay housed."
Since the program's inception on March 15, 2021, California has been a national leader in providing aid to individuals who are most in need and at risk of losing their homes. So far, the state program has provided over $1.7 billion in direct aid, assisting over 145,000 low-income families in paying off their rental arrears and avoiding eviction.
"From the beginning, the U.S. Treasury urged states to move quickly to support renters and landlords in need and deploy rent relief funds to avoid evictions, and California rose to meet that challenge," said Department of Housing and Community Development Director Gustavo Velasquez. "Given the state's large renter population and cost burden, we know the demand for resources will continue in the months to come. California has some of the most cost-burdened renters and they should be prioritized as additional federal funding is made available."
California plans to submit further requests for federal monies through the US Treasury's reallocation process in the future, including an application for the next round of reallocations, which is due by the end of January. The US Treasury has stated that reallocations will occur every two months, with unused federal monies reclaimed and reassigned to grantees such as California that have a steady demand for resources.
More than 84 percent of those helped so far are very low- or extremely low-income households, earning less than half of the Area Median Income. More than 56 percent of those applying are female heads of households, and more than a quarter of those applying are above the age of 50.
In addition, legal aid resources are available to support tenants navigating available protections. Low-or no-cost legal help is available through www.lawhelpca.org and/or the Tenant Resources page on HousingIsKey.com.
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