SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica reported on Wednesday, September 22 that over $14 million in state rental assistance funds have been paid to over 867 Santa Monica households. Applications are still being accepted, and Santa Monica tenants and landlords are asked to apply before the state eviction moratorium expires on Thursday, September 30.
According to a press release from the city of Santa Monica, over 1,819 Santa Monica households applied with 569 more applications received by the state of California since focused outreach started on August 4. The latest data from the state indicated Santa Monicans requested $28.8 million in rental assistance and received an average assistance of $16,526 per household. Application data is updated weekly at housing.ca.gov.
Tenants who apply for rental assistance by the deadline 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.”
To promote equitable access to the program, Santa Monica is offering help for 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 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
Renters must provide 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 must provide copies of bills. Even if applicants don’t have 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 lost income or saw increased expenses due to the pandemic and 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.
On August 4, Santa Monica launched a comprehensive city-wide outreach campaign to alert Santa Monica residential tenants and landlords about the $5.2 billion in rental assistance and $2 billion in utility assistance set aside to help those in the state of California. The outreach plan includes multi-lingual mailers, flyers, door-hangers, social media, and email. Focused outreach efforts started on August 4, and more than $8.5 million in rental assistance has been requested by households in Santa Monica.
Tenants and landlords can contact the state Housing is Key program directly at housing.ca.gov or (833) 430-2122. For help, call 3-1-1 or email email@example.com.