Gov. Gavin Newsom announced this week that he’d signed legislation to extend the state’s eviction moratorium through September and clear rent debt for Californians earning below a certain threshold.
Under Assembly Bill 832, the $5.2 billion rent relief program is set to pay 100% of past-due and prospective rent payments, as well as utility bills, that income-qualified tenants incurred during the pandemic back to April 2020.
Rental assistance is reserved for tenants earning less than 80% of the area median income, with some exceptions for higher-earning renters who can show a loss of wages due to COVID-19.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median income in the city of Santa Clarita in 2019 was $99,666.
The legislation also allows tenants to access rental funds directly if their landlord chooses not to participate and ensures landlords can receive compensation even if their otherwise income-qualified tenants have already vacated a unit, with landlords and tenants both able to apply immediately.
The program is set to be financed entirely by federal money, which would reportedly come from the state’s budget surplus and COVID-19 relief funds.
The state’s eviction moratorium was also extended through Sept. 30, giving tenants who’ve completed a declaration of COVID-19 hardship three more months to pay 25% of the rent owed during the pandemic and protected from eviction.
Additionally, the bill ensures rental assistance dollars stay in California, prioritizing cities and counties with “unmet needs” and using the judicial process to verify tenants and landlords have attempted to obtain rental assistance, according to a news release issued by Newsom’s administration.
The legislation followed actions taken last week by the Biden Administration to extend the federal eviction moratorium through July 31, along with the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors’ extension of the county’s own temporary moratorium to Sept. 30.
For more information about how federal, state and county laws can protect tenants and property owners, call the L.A. County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs’ Housing and Tenant Protections team at 833-223-RENT (7368) or visit rent.lacounty.gov.