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California Now Taking Applications for COVID-19 Rent Relief

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California has launched an online application portal for tenants and landlords impacted by COVID-19. Through the relief fund, people can request assistance for last year’s unpaid bills for rent and a variety of utilities.

The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program is made possible by $2.6 billion coming from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and is available to most cities and counties throughout the state, though some localities have established their own assistance programs.

Eligible tenants may receive between 25 percent — the amount required to avoid eviction under the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act — and 100 percent of back rent. Landlords may be reimbursed for up to 80 percent of what’s due, with an agreement to forgive the remainder.

In addition, the state may provide further assistance for unpaid utility bills, including water, garbage, sewer, electric, gas and internet.

The application also allows requests for upcoming payments due through June.   

The online portal is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Chinese and Korean, but call center representatives are prepared to assist people in another 200 languages at (833) 430-2122.

Applicants must provide proof of impacted income with either a copy of their completed 2020 tax returns, itemized income declarations or with a copy of a benefits letter provided for programs such as SNAP food assistance.

Other required documents include:

  • Identification, such as a driver’s license
  • Declaration of financial impact
  • Proof of residency, such as a utility bill
  • Current rental lease
  • Rent bills showing past due amounts
  • Landlord name, phone, email and address
  • Utility bills reflecting past due amounts 

Applications will be accepted and considered on an ongoing basis. Eligibility requirements and further details can be found at


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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.