Renters, landlords can apply for payment relief
Kenny White said he was served an eviction notice last week, giving him three days to pay more than $8,000 or be forced out of his home.
The 62-year-old Grass Valley resident, unable to pay the disputed figure and unaware of his rights as a tenant, had nowhere to go.
“Nobody really knows what’s going on,” White said. “So I basically I gotta be ready to go at a drop of a hat.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday extended until the end of June an eviction moratorium set to expire Thursday. The move makes nationwide a similar eviction ban already in place in California.
Under the state moratorium, if renters return a declaration of COVID-19-related financial stress within 15 business days of receiving a notice to “pay or quit,” they can avoid eviction through June 30.
If renters are able to pay 25% of the total rent owed from September 2020 through June of this year, they will be permanently protected from eviction for not paying rent in that period.
The tenants would still have to pay the full amount owed, and can be taken to court for it, but they cannot be evicted if they pay at least 25%. Tenants can also still be evicted for reasons unrelated to rent.
The recently passed American Rescue Plan also included $21.5 billion for emergency rental assistance, about $1.5 billion of which will come through the State Rental Assistance program.
Around $7.2 million is expected to go to Nevada County.
Under the program, landlords can receive direct funding for up to 80% of unpaid rent from April 1, 2020, through the end of March this year if they agree to waive the remaining rent owed by a tenant.
If a landlord does not want to participate, renters can still apply for relief of up to 25% of the unpaid rent during that period. All payments must be used to satisfy the renter’s unpaid rent.
The program is open to households at or below 80% of the area median income, with a priority on households at or below 50%. In Nevada County, for a family of four that would translate to $68,800 and $43,000, respectively.
The relief comes as the latest U.S. Census survey data from the beginning of March showed 20% of renters nationwide were not caught up on rent payments, with less than half of respondents confident they would be able to make the next month’s payment.
In California, an additional 37% said they had trouble paying usual household expenses this month. Across the state 16% said they had trouble getting enough food.
To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4229.
Housing emergency assistance program: https://housing.ca.gov/covid_rr
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