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Thousands of California Renters in Limbo as Eviction Protections End

Evacuation protections for tens of thousands of California households still waiting in line for payments from the state’s multi-billion-dollar rent relief program expired on Thursday.

Since September 2020, the Legislature has passed and Governor Gavin Newsum has signed four laws protecting tenants who were unable to pay rent because of COVID-19 from eviction. God The latest expansion Protection of tenants until June 30 who have applied for a $ 5 billion rent relief from the state plan by March 31, but have yet to receive payments. These tenants can now be brought to court by their landlords.

“It is highly unlikely that they will be able to pass all of these requests by June 30, when the evacuation protections expire,” said Sarah Troft, vice president of research at PolicyLink, an organization that reviewed the state’s rent relief program. Press conference this week. “That means they are likely to be evicted and they may end up getting rent assistance.”

Deborah Carlton, chief lobbyist for the California Housing Association, said they had asked their friends not to take their tenants with pending petitions to court.

The state Department of Housing and Community Development, which manages the program through a contractor, did not respond to multiple requests for interviews.

The rent relief program paid more than $ 3.8 billion to 329,000 households, according to state data Dashboard for public data. More than 28,000 primary candidates and 57,000 people applied again Have not heard back yetAccording to PolicyLink, which reviewed the weekly plan data from the state through applications for the Public Registration Act.

Horne LLP, a Mississippi accounting firm specializing in disaster relief, Paid A total of $ 278 million to distribute $ 4.5 billion of federal rent relief funds, according to a April 1 contract renewal CalMatters obtained through the June 17 Public Records Act.

State Assembly member Buffy Weeks, a Democrat from Auckland and co-author of the latest extension, admitted the plan was “incredibly frustrating.” She said the state housing department had promised that her appropriate applications would be paid.

“I think it’s no secret that it had challenges,” she said. “And while I identify with some of the challenges we have had as a state government in terms of tackling a global epidemic that none of us have anticipated, it’s also our job as a government to run particularly well when it comes to critical social safety nets.”

But there is little money for tenants’ supporters. A key part of the expired law was the prevention of stricter local measures against eviction, many of which will now take effect, including in Los Angeles County.

The state faces at least two lawsuits over the plan from attorneys, who claim it has Denied funding from the appropriate tenants And does not cover the amount of Rental debt originally promised.

More than 135,000 people – or nearly a third of all households – who have applied for rent relief have had their applications rejected as of June 17, according to CalMatters data that came from the Housing Department through the Public Records Act. That number has risen in recent weeks with the end of the program. The lawsuit, which cites the same set of data, states that tenants receive little to no explanation for their denials, making it difficult to appeal the final decision.

“Tenants face eviction even when their apartment owners are given these huge checks and tenants eligible for deferred assistance with these dark messages that don’t tell them why. It just doesn’t make sense,” said Madeleine Howard, a senior lawyer at the Western Center on Law & Poverty , One of the groups suing the state over the plan.

Weeks said the The latest state budget, Approved this week, includes nearly $ 2 billion to repay to the state for a line of credit opened earlier this year to pay tenants who applied before March 31, though it does not include new funds for rent relief. The plan covered rent for up to 18 months between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2022 for low-income tenants who were financially affected by COVID-19.

Manuela Tobias is a reporter at CalMatters.

Thousands of California Renters in Limbo as Eviction Protections End Source link Thousands of California Renters in Limbo as Eviction Protections End

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