The statewide “CA COVID-19 Rent Relief” program (also commonly referred to as “Housing is Key”) is now open and taking applications to help income-eligible households with 100% of rent and utilities, for both past and future amounts owed. Santa Monica renters and property owners are urged to review income eligibility and apply today at housing.ca.gov or by calling (833) 430-2122. This rental assistance program, along with the statewide eviction moratorium, is intended to keep families housed, shield tenants from eviction, and help both landlords and tenants recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Here’s what you need to know:
Qualifying tenants and landlords should apply to the rental assistance program as soon as possible; funds are available until the money runs out.
Rental assistance is not automatic, tenants and landlords must apply to get help.

The statewide eviction moratorium protecting tenants from nonpayment of rent expires on September 30, 2021.

“We want everyone across our community to be aware of the state funds available to tenants and landlords to pay 100% of housing and utility costs for income-eligible households impacted by COVID-19,” said Santa Monica Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “These funds will support our recovery and ensure Santa Monicans can stay in their homes. Our City is committed to sharing this information with every eligible landlord and tenant. Apply today, Santa Monica!”

The City of Santa Monica is launching an outreach program to ensure that all residential tenants and landlords have an opportunity to apply for $5.2 billion in rental assistance and $2 billion in utility assistance pledged by the State of California. The outreach plan focuses on equitable access for our most vulnerable community members and is designed to reach tenants and landlords who are unaware of the rental-assistance program, or who have been unable to apply because of disability or lack of access to technology or internet service. Efforts will include print and digital outreach, including mailers, flyers, door-hangers, social media, email and more.

This builds on prior COVID-19 housing relief efforts. The City of Santa Monica has previously distributed over $2.8 million in rental assistance to over 640 Santa Monica families since March 2020 by leveraging federal funding from Community Development Block Grants and the CARES Act as well as local funding from the City’s General Fund and community contributions to the We Are Santa Monica Fund.

For more information about the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program and to apply, visit housing.ca.gov or call (833) 430-2122. If you need help applying, contact 3-1-1 or 311@santamonica.gov.

Submitted by Constance Farrell, Public Information Officer