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Federal rent relief is coming. Here's what to expect in California

Andrew Khouri, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Home and Consumer News

Lost jobs and income from the COVID-19 pandemic have put many people around the country, millions by the estimate of some experts, behind on their rent payments.

Eviction moratoriums, nationally and in California, expire at the end of the month, putting many at risk of losing their homes. Tenants in Los Angeles County have protection for longer, but local ordinances still require people to eventually pay back what they owe.

Some help is on the way. The stimulus law passed by Congress in late December includes $25 billion in rental relief funds, with an estimated $2.6 billion coming to California. Here are some things you should know about that money.

Who is eligible for the latest stimulus bill's rental relief funds?

Households who make 80% or less of the median income in their area and include at least one person who qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a financial hardship because of the pandemic.

Households must also show they are at risk of homelessness or housing instability to qualify.

 

The income qualification is determined by household income for all of 2020, or monthly income when your household applies for help.

States and local jurisdictions will distribute the money and must prioritize two types of households: those with incomes at or below 50% of area median income, and those with one or more person who has been unemployed for at least 90 days.

Can undocumented individuals get rent relief money?

There is nothing in the stimulus law that prevents undocumented individuals from being eligible for rent relief, according to Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

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