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State moratorium comes to an end while rental assistance continues

renters-assistance

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) The California state moratorium comes to an end this week but there's still help for tenants who owe rent.

Monterey County received $28 million in emergency rental and utility assistance for low-income residents who've been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.  Jan Leasure with Monterey Property Management oversees about 400 properties, she said all of their tenants who fell behind on rent applied for rental assistance.  

"The eviction moratorium solved an immediate problem," said Leasure. "But the rental assistance program solved the subsequent problem.”

Not only did they receive all of their back rent owed, but they also got additional funds for future rent, she said. According to Leasure, other property managements in Monterey have had similar success with the program, and she believes the ending of the moratorium, will not have as much of an impact.

"So many landlords have been able to get the rental assistance," she said. "I just don't anticipate the courts being as backed up as everybody thinks they're gonna be.”

In Monterey County, 1,666 households received assistance with rent and 824 households got utility assistance.  
So far, $8.8 million dollars in rental assistance and $1.4 million dollars in utility assistance have been distributed.

Assembly Bill 832 provides protection for tenants who have an open application for emergency rental assistance. But in order to be protected, they must meet the deadline.

"It does not make a difference in terms of benefits through our program," said Kelly deWolfe with United Way Monterey County. "But it does make a difference in terms of their legal protection. If they do not have an open application prior to September 30, they don’t benefit from that grace period through March of 2022.”

United Way Monterey County, expects to exceed its first budget with the pending applications but, they also have a second budget of $22,000,000 they can tap into for incoming applications.  

An online portal was created where tenants and landlords can view their application status at mcrenthelp.com. Funding is still available and people are encouraged to apply at mcrenthelp.com or call 211 for assistance.

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Jonathan Sarabia

Jonathan is a former multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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