Culver City Observer -

Rental Assistance Available to Qualifying Santa Monica Tenants

More than $10 million in state funds have been distributed to 650 local households

 

September 9, 2021



With the statewide eviction moratorium expiring September 30, Santa Monica officials are urging local tenants in need to apply for the state’s rental and utility assistance program.

Currently, California has available $5.2 billion in rental assistance and $2 billion in utility assistance through its COVID-19 Rent Relief program, commonly called “Housing is Key,” said local officials.

City officials said that more than $10 million in state rental assistance has been distributed to over 650 households in Santa Monica so far and they urge tenants and landlords to apply for the program before the funds are depleted.

“City staff and community volunteers are here to assist you in accessing state funds for rent and utilities before the funds are depleted,” said Santa Monica Mayor Sue Himmelrich in a statement this week. “If your income was impacted by COVID-19, please consider applying. This program is unique in that it covers a wider range of incomes than other state and federal housing programs.”

The city’s outreach is “targeted toward tenants and landlords who haven’t applied because of disability, or lack of access to technology or internet service,” said local officials.

The eviction moratorium protecting tenants from nonpayment of rent expires on September 30, officials said.

Although the rent relief is targeted toward low-income tenants and their landlords, City officials noted that any tenant who has been impacted by COVID-19 – has unpaid rent or utilities, or need help with future rent and utilities – may qualify for the state program.

The state will calculate an applicant’s income eligibility and will base income eligibility on whether the tenant’s household income meets a specified percentage of the Area Median Income (“AMI”), city officials said. Applicants will need a proof of ID, income, residence or lease agreement and a rent ledger to complete the application process.

Santa Monica residents can call 311 or email 311@santamonica.gov to schedule an appointment for assistance. Tenants and landlords can also contact the state’s “Housing is Key” program directly at housing.ca.gov or (833) 430-2122.

 

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