CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program provides free financial assistance to income eligible households for unpaid rent and utilities

Rent relief is now available for California landlords and their renters who are struggling to pay rent or utilities due to COVID-19.

Income eligible renters can apply for help to pay rent and utilities, both for past due and future payments, provided they meet certain eligibility requirements. Renters and landlords can verify eligibility immediately by visiting HousingIsKey.com or calling 833-430-2122 toll-free.

Program details

California renters who meet the following criteria may be eligible to apply:

1. Have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due to COVID–19; and

2. Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which may include:
• a past-due utility or rent notice or eviction notice;
• unsafe or unhealthy living conditions; or
• any other evidence of such risk, as determined by the program

3. Have a household income that is not more than 80% of the Area Median Income

Landlords who participate in the program are eligible to receive payment of 80 percent of unpaid rent during the qualifying period of April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, if their renters are income eligible, and if they agree to waive the remaining 20% owed.

Income eligible renters whose landlords choose not to participate in the program can apply on their own and receive 25 percent of their unpaid rent accrued between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. Financial assistance is also available to help renters pay future rent, up to 25 percent of their monthly amount. These two assistance options can help Californians stay housed once the state’s eviction protections expire on June 30, 2021.

Additional financial assistance available through the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program includes help paying past due utility payments accrued from April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021, as well as help paying future utility bills; both of which will be paid at 100% of cost but are limited to a total of 12 months.

Check eligibility

To check program eligibility, review the required application items and start an application, visit HousingIsKey.com. All verification information is necessary for applications to be processed. Once an application has been processed, both the landlord and renter will be notified about the application status and next steps.

Language and application assistance

Californians who need in-language assistance or help filling out an application should make an appointment with a Local Partner Network organization near them by calling 833-687-0967. A full list of local community partners, services provided and languages available can be found at HousingIsKey.com or by calling the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Call Center at 833-430-2122. Applicants may qualify regardless of immigration status and will not be required to show proof of citizenship.

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