California expected to simplify rent relief application

According to a small survey of rent relief providers, applicants face language, document and digital barriers, but the state is making corrections along the way.

California, USA — This story was originally published by Cal Matters. Leaeste artículoen Spanish..

A new survey found that tenants are having a hard time accessing the state $ 2.6 billion Emergency rent bailouts contributing to the slow distribution of California’s marquee program to thwart state-wide potential Evacuation tsunami..

In the month leading up to the end of the state’s eviction moratorium Survey of 177 tenant advocates Tenants had problems applying in languages ​​other than English and Spanish, and COVID’s ability to apply for tenants was limited, so a document showing loss of digital capabilities and income was announced on Tuesday. It turns out that access is lacking.

Tenant supporters also face loss of contact with or harassment from landlords as state plans require landlords to allow 20% of their rent to receive the remaining 80%. Tenants have reportedly been locked out of virtually complete rent relief. Tenants in such situations can avoid eviction by paying 25% of their rental debt.

All of these factors contribute to the delay in paying $ 2.6 billion in California’s rent relief program. Californians have applied for $ 473 million, but only $ 20 million has been paid So far, according to the states, which have begun many changes to simplify the application process and get more money faster.

Risk of movement

“This is a once-in-a-generation crisis and we need to treat it like one,” said Melissa Jones, Executive Director of the Bay Area Regional Health Equality Initiative, one of the report’s sponsors. Said.

Their concerns reflect complaints from tenants who were unable to receive rental relief. First-come-first-served, first-come-first-served, or lottery system..

“The state tells me that they value the roof above my head much more than my life,” said a Pasadena movie and television that lags behind rent during a pandemic. Writer, Jalin Bailey, said.

“We are currently at risk of evacuation and have been active daily since April 2020.”

Bailey said he had a hard time applying for a rental relief in Los Angeles County and had to seek help from a local resource center, despite successful unemployment insurance payment applications with printers and scanners available. It was. Meanwhile, she believes the landlord has hired a private detective to monitor her activities.

“Now we are waiting for the coming of July 1st (the eviction order),” Bailey said.

More languages, less documentation

The state has promised to fix some of these issues earlier this week. Rasheimerich, a spokesman for the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, said application websites in Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Tagalog will be available soon this week.

According to Jaimerich, the state will issue a second, simpler rental relief application this week, which will reduce the time it takes to complete the form from about 90 minutes to 45 minutes.

Perhaps most importantly, new applications require less documentation to show pandemic-related revenue losses. Heimerich said the state relies on proof of income loss, much like it did to unemployed people during a pandemic. Tenant proponents say documentation is a major hurdle for lessors.

“We’re still going to see if the prisoners have applied and the dead haven’t applied,” Jaimerich said. Large-scale scam This contributes to the backlog of billing at the Employment Development Department.

Proposed extension

Probably the most important news for tenants with stagnant rent, this month’s Governor Gavin Newsom suggested Increase repayment amount from 80% to 100%, Eliminates the need for landlords to participate in rent relief.

“We remove the landlords who refused to participate from the equation,” said Jaimerich.

As with the trailer bill to extend the moratorium on peasant evictions ending June 30, the proposal still requires legislative approval.

This article is part of California divide, A collaboration between newsrooms investigating income inequality and financial survival in California.

CALmatters.org is a non-profit, non-partisan media venture that explains California’s policies and politics.

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