Over 867 households helped
By Staff Writer
Over $14 million in state rental assistance funds have been paid to over 867 Santa Monica households so far, city officials have announced.
According to the City of Santa Monica, applications are still being accepted, and Santa Monica tenants and landlords are encouraged to apply before the state eviction moratorium expires on September 30, 2021.
So far 1,819 Santa Monica households have applied with 569 more applications received by the State of California since focused outreach began on August 4, the City noted in a September 22 press release. In the same press release the City said that based on the latest data available from the State of California, Santa Monicans have requested $28.8 million in rental assistance and received an average assistance of $16,526 per household.
Tenants who apply for rental assistance by September 30 and who are waiting to find out if they are eligible cannot be evicted through March 31, 2022, if they have met certain conditions. Landlords must apply for rent relief before attempting to evict tenants for non-payment.
“With the statewide eviction moratorium expiring in 8 days, now is the time to apply for rental assistance to ensure you can stay in your home,” said Eda Suh, Chief Deputy City Attorney. “If you have been impacted by COVID-19, are income eligible, and you are behind on or need help with your rent or utility payments, apply for this program before September 30.”
In order to promote easy access to the program, the City is offering help for Santa Monica residents who need assistance applying for rent relief.
Tenants and landlords can call 311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions or schedule appointments. Over 50 residents have contacted 311 to request assistance, and appointments can be in-person, online, or by phone. Help is available with the following items:
* Filling out applications
* Access to computers and internet
* Questions about the application process
* Help scanning or copying documents
* Assistance in languages other than English
* Support for tenants and landlords with disabilities
According to the City, renters need proof of income, rental agreement, and a rent ledger (showing how much is owed) to complete the application process. Tenants who want help with utility bills need copies of bills. Even if applicants don’t have the paperwork, they can still apply; most of the information can be certified in the application, and the applicant will need to provide proof of identification.
Tenants who have lost income or had increased expenses due to the pandemic and who have unpaid rent or utilities or need help with future rent and utilities may qualify. The state calculates and determines an applicant’s eligibility on whether the household income meets a specified percentage of the Area Median Income (AMI). Income-eligible applicants may qualify regardless of immigration status and will not be required to show proof of citizenship.
Tenants and landlords can contact the state Housing is Key program directly at housing.ca.gov or (833) 430-2122