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California Roars Back: Governor Newsom Highlights Nation’s Largest Rent Relief Program, Announces Over $1 Billion in Rental Assistance Requested to Date

Rent relief program continues to build momentum with over $1 billion in rental assistance requested through the state administered program and increasing rates of application and disbursement

$5.2 billion rent relief program covers 100 percent of past-due and prospective rent payments for qualified low-income Californians

Additional $2 billion provided to pay back overdue water and utility bills

BELL GARDENS – Governor Gavin Newsom today visited a community services center in Bell Gardens helping residents apply for relief under the largest statewide renter assistance program in the country, a part of the $100 billion California Comeback Plan. Governor Newsom announced that over $1 billion in rental assistance has been requested through the state administered program to date as it continues to build momentum, with rates of application and disbursement rising rapidly after the state significantly increased assistance to low-income renters and landlords.

The Plan provides a total of $5.2 billion to now cover 100 percent of back-rent and all prospective rent for several months into the future for income-qualified tenants. The Plan also includes $2 billion for past-due water and utility bills and more money than ever for tenant legal assistance. These supports are in addition to Governor Newsom extending the state’s eviction moratorium.

“As the state comes roaring back from the pandemic, we’re laser-focused on getting this assistance out the door as quickly as possible and providing supports across the board to help Californians get back on their feet,” said Governor Newsom. “With robust COVID rental protections and the largest rent relief program of any state in the nation, we’re protecting millions of struggling Californians worried about keeping a roof over their heads or making next month’s mortgage by covering 100 percent of past-due and prospective rent payments, as well as overdue water and utility bills. I’m thankful for the Legislature’s partnership in advancing these historic supports.”

Governor sits at table with rent relief recipients

Governor Newsom at rent relief press conference

Governor Newsom hears from Californians receiving rent relief

The California COVID-19 Rent Relief program has to date received 108,801 applications. Renters and landlords can apply for relief at the Housing Is Key website, where a public dashboard has been launched to provide continued updates on the program outcomes.

The state’s rental assistance program 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. The Governor’s Plan ensures rental assistance dollars stay in California by prioritizing cities and counties with unmet needs and makes temporary reforms to the judicial process to ensure tenants and landlords have attempted to obtain rental assistance.

Governor Newsom’s California Comeback Plan seizes this once-in-a-lifetime moment to address long-standing challenges by taking on threats to our state’s future and ensuring every California family – regardless of their race or zip code – can thrive.