SALINAS, Calif. (KION) California is offering rent relief for those who have been mounting rent debt.
The applications for the California COVID-19 rent relief opened at 5 pm on Monday. The relief is meant to help low-income Californians who were unable to pay their rent from April 1st, 2020 to March 31st, 2021.
The state pays 80% of what is owed to the landlord as long as the landlord waives the remaining 20%. The state is prioritizing those who are in greater need.
"They're prioritizing families who make up to 80% of the median income in the county with a preference for those very low-income families that make up to 50% of the area median income," says Jason Hoppin, Public Information Officer for Santa Cruz County.
For Santa Cruz County, 80% of the median income for a family of four is $106,000. In Monterey County, it would be up to $77,000 or less.
When the pandemic began, United Way Monterey County reports more calls from struggling people trying to make ends meet.
"We know through our 211 Information referral service that the number one reason people have called us over the past year has to do with rental assistance," says Katy Castagna, CEO of United Way Monterey County.
In order to quality, renters have to either qualify for unemployment, experienced a reduction in household income, or experiencing housing instability.
"We would encourage anybody that has unpaid back rent dating back to the beginning of the pandemic to sign up for relief. There's a limited pool of funding, there's a lot of money but there's a lot of need out there," says Hoppin.
For more information and for the application, click this link here.