CA COVID-19 Rent Relief

Whether it’s a health-related event or a significant financial hardship, COVID-19 has affected us all. As our state continues to recover, we are committed to keeping families housed and recognize that California renters and landlords have enough to worry about. We want to make sure that rent and utilities aren’t on that list of worries.

The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program helps income-eligible households with rent and utilities, both for past due and future payments. The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provides tenant (renter) protection laws and funding to support this program and was signed by Governor Newsom in January 2021.

Depending on the address of your rental property, you may be eligible for a local program. Click Apply Now to determine which program is right for you.

Have you already started an application? Click here to continue or refer to the email you received when you started your application.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Program Highlights

  • Free financial assistance is available to landlords and renters who need help with unpaid or future rent or utilities.
  • Landlords and renters are both encouraged to apply.
  • Income-eligible applicants may qualify regardless of immigration status and will not be required to show proof of citizenship.
  • Assistance from the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program does NOT count as earned income (for renters) and will NOT affect eligibility for any other state benefit assistance programs, such as CalFresh or CalWORKS.
  • All applicant information is kept private and will not be shared.
  • Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis. Priority assistance will be given to income eligible households most at-risk of eviction.
  • Once an application has been successfully processed, both the landlord and renter will be notified of next steps.

Program Details

Who can apply?

  • Landlords
  • Renters

What’s covered?

UNPAID RENT

Landlords who participate in the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program can get reimbursed for an eligible renter’s unpaid rent dating back to April 1, 2020.

Eligible renters whose landlords choose not to participate in the program may apply on their own and receive assistance for unpaid rent dating back to April 1, 2020.

UPCOMING RENT

Eligible renters can receive financial assistance for their upcoming monthly rent, too.

UTILITY ASSISTANCE: UNPAID OR UPCOMING

Eligible renters may also receive assistance for unpaid utility payments dating back to April 1, 2020, or for future utility payments, which will both be compensated at 100% of cost, limited to a total of 12 months, and paid directly to the utility provider.

What are the requirements?

RENTERS: If you have been impacted by COVID-19, are income eligible (the state will calculate this when you apply) and have unpaid rent or utilities, or need help with future rent or utilities, you may apply for the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program.

LANDLORDS: If you have renters who are behind on their rent and need financial assistance to support this income loss, you may apply for the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program, so long as:

  • Your renter’s household is income eligible (the state will calculate this when they apply).
  • All payments you receive must be used to satisfy the renter’s unpaid rent. Eligible timeframe for financial assistance dates back to April 1, 2020.
  • Your renter/s must take steps to verify that they meet eligibility requirements and sign the application. They will be notified once your application submitted and asked to submit their required information.

Income-eligible applicants may qualify regardless of immigration status and will not be required to show proof of citizenship.

What paperwork will you need?

If you have the following paperwork available, it will make the application process faster for you to complete.

RENTERS:

ONE of the following:

  • Your 2020 Tax Return
  • 2020 W2 and 1099G if you were unemployed
  • Current pay stubs
  • Proof of participation in a state or federal subsidy program such as CalFresh or CalWORKS (your 2020 or 2021 acceptance or renewal letter is preferred).

AND — IF YOU ARE APPLYING FOR HELP WITH UTILITY BILLS:

  • Utility invoices or statements for any unpaid utility, water, trash, and internet bills after April 1, 2020.

Assistance for renters through this program does NOT qualify as income.

LANDLORDS:

ALL of the following:

  • Lease or rental agreement reflecting renter’s name, residence address, and monthly rent due
  • Rent ledger or rent statement showing the balance of unpaid rent from April 1, 2020
  • W-8 or W-9 (for tax purposes)

If you have 10 or more tenants and would like to upload information for all of them at once when you apply, please fill out this form.

Assistance paid directly to landlords through this program DOES qualify as income.

Don't have the paperwork mentioned above?

Don't worry! You can still apply. Most of the information can be certified in the application, you will just need to provide proof of identification.

Ready to apply?

Have you already started an application?
Click here to continue or refer to the email you received when you started your application.


Questions?

For additional information, including eligibility and application help, call our CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Call Center at 833-430-2122.

If you need assistance in another language, or to get help to see if you’re eligible, help you fill out an application, or upload required paperwork, schedule an appointment with an organization near you by calling 833-687-0967.

For detailed information about program eligibility, paper applications or other program information, visit Resources.