SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Santa Cruz County is encouraging both tenants and landlords with unpaid rent to apply to the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program following an extension of California's eviction protections.
The California Legislature approved the extension through Sept. 30.
County officials say there is about $16 million available locally for tenants and landlords to help pay for rent that was not paid for pandemic-related reasons. Under AB 832, California increased the available compensation about to 100% of rental arrears, past-due utility payments and prospective rent and utilities for qualifying tenants.
Tenants may receive as much as 18 months of assistance, and it also allows for payment of arrears to landlords for units where tenants have already left.
The bill will continue a stay on court action to recover rental debt until Nov. 1. Landlords trying to get COVID-19 related rental debt in court will need to show good-faith cooperation with tenants who have applied to the rent relief program until that point.
Although there are still eviction moratoriums in place for pandemic-related evictions, tenants are still responsible for any accumulated rent. If they do not apply for the rent relief program or pay arrears, tenants will be liable for past-due rent.
The state estimates that the application on HousingIsKey.com takes about 30 minutes to complete. Applications can also be completed by calling 1-833-430-2122 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. every day.
Residents who need help with the application process can also contact:
- Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County 831-778-4535
- Families in Transition 831-740-2947
- Community Bridges (Live Oak) 831-476-7284
- Community Bridges (Beach Flats) 831-423-5747, ext 13
- Community Bridges (SLV) 831-335-6600
Those eligible include renters with a household income at or below 80% of the median income in the area and households at or below 50% of the median income in the area are prioritized. Landlords with eligible tenants and utility providers with eligible clients can also apply directly.