AB832 (previously SB91) uses the money allocated to California from the federal government to create a new rental assistance program. This financial program is designed to help low-income tenants by helping them pay owed rent that they have not been able to pay due to COVID-19. The funds will be awarded in three rounds that prioritize lowest-income households:
- Renters who make less than 50% of the Area Median Income
- Communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19
- Remaining eligible tenants making less than 80% of Area Median Income
*To determine what the Area Median Income is in your area, review this guide.
The State of California COVID-19 Rental Assistance Call Center is available to get help answering eligibility questions for application assistance and to provide information on local assistance in multiple languages at 1-833-430-2122, between 7am - 7pm. If you are NOT able to speak with a representative at the call center, look up your county here and find local partner agencies near you that can help you submit an application.
Types of Financial Assistance Awarded
The rental assistance application is available HERE!
- If you have had trouble paying rent due to COVID-19, you can apply for financial assistance for the months of April 2020 to October 2021!
It doesn't matter if you apply alone as a tenant, or with your landlord, because either way, you can recieve up to 100% of the rent owed! That is potentially ALL of the rent owed! All of the rental assistance recieved will have to be provided to the landlord.
CURRENTLY (AFTER July 1st, 2021)...
If your landlord DOES or DOES NOT agree to participant in the rental assistance program, you can recieve up to 100% of the rent owed!
- If your landlord DOES agree to participate in the rental assistance program, you can receive it paid directly to your landlord!
If your landlord does NOT agree to participate in the rental assistance program, you can receive it paid directly to you!
- You will have 15 days to deliver the rental assistance funding to your landlord.
- Your landlord's ability to sue you for the remaining money is limited if they refuse to participate, you met the eligibility requirements, and funding was available.
If you ALREADY APPLIED for rental assistance BEFORE June 30th, 2021, you can STILL recieve up to 100% of the rent owed!
- You do NOT need to re-apply to recieve the 100%
- However, you should follow up with your case manager or the program in general to confirm that you can recieve the full 100%.
How do I know if I am eligible?
As a tenant, you must meet all THREE requirements:
1.Experienced a reduction in income, large increase in expenses, or experienced financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to COVID-19, and be able to put this in writing
2. Be able to demonstrate housing instability, which may include:
- A past due utility or rent notice or eviction notice
- Risk of experiencing homelessness
- Unsafe or unhealthy living conditions
- Any other evidence of risk
3. Have a household income that is not more than 80% of Area Median Income (AMI) (https://www.hcd.ca.gov/grants-funding/income-limits/state-and-federal-in...) for the household
Landlords must also meet all FOUR requirements:
1. Be the property owner or the property management/agency who has legal authority to lease the unit
2. Have one or more eligible tenants with unpaid rent between April 1st, 2020 and September 1st, 2021 due to a COVID-19 related event
3. Have a rent statement or ledger, or a tenant lease, or a written and/or oral agreement with the eligible tenants
- If the written lease or oral agreement is expired or will expire during the period that the program will cover, landlord must extend the terms of the prior lease at least through the end of the final month which an assistance payment is made under the program
4. Agree to waive 20% of the unpaid rent for the above time period
What do I need to submit to apply?
NOTE: Applicants will not be asked about their immigration status, nor will they be required to show proof of residency or status.
1. Contact information for your landlord - name, address, phone number, email
2. Identity Document (ONE of the following)
- Government issued birth certificate, driver’s license, or identification card
- Employment identification card
- Marriage licenses/certificate or certified divorce decree
- Current school records documenting a student’s status as full-time at a degree or certificate granting institution. (only for households 18 years older)
3. Income Verification (ONE of the following)
- IRS Tax Forms
- W-2 Form
- Recent paycheck stubs
- Employer-generated salary report
- Earnings statement
- Current bank account
4. Address of Residence Verification (ONE of the following)
- Lease or written agreement
- Official letter from third party showing name and address
- Government issued library card
- Utility statements from providers
- State issued program ID or license (must show address)
5. Rent Owed Verification (ONE of the following)
- A current lease signed with rental payment amount
- If no lease, proof of your rent amount may include bank statement, written confirmation by a landlord
6. Utility Balance Verification - only if applying for utility assistance
- Utility bill showing past or current amount due
If you or your household already receives public assistance, you can streamline the application process and get relief faster, by providing proof of participation in any of the following programs with a date after January 1st, 2020:
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Free & Reduced Lunch
- Subsidized housing (including housing choice, project passed, or Section 8 vouchers) that required income documentation as a condition of residency
Resources for Tenants Applying for Rental Assistance
- CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program Overview
- Overview for Tenants Applying for Financial Assistance
- Organizations Near You that Can Help You Apply
- Checklist for Renters Applying for Financial Assistance
- Renter Sample Application
- Certification of Zero Income
- COVID-19 Financial Distress Example Form
- Free, confidential phone and online service (24 hours, 7 days a week) that helps find local resources in California
Tenants eligible for financial assistance of COVID-19 rent debt and who are completing the application for state program can on the same form apply to receive assistance for unpaid utilities and future payments. Unpaid utilities accumulated from April 1st, 2020 through September 30th, 2021 will be compensated at 100% of cost, limited to a total of 12 months. For applications received, the state will first review and commit funds to applicants who are eligible and meet the priority requirement having income at or below 50% of Area Median Income (AMI) to ensure those most in need receive assistance.
Types of Utility Assistance Available:
- Other Utility
Tenants requesting utility assistance are required to provide utility statements that include:
- Company name
- Company address
- Account number