Resources

The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program is committed to keeping individuals and families housed throughout the state of California. The following resources can help landlords and renters determine if they are eligible and apply.

Resources for Renters/Landlords


Frequently Asked Questions

The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program supports eligible renters and landlords by providing 100 percent financial assistance for rent and utility bills, both past due and future payments, to prevent housing instability, potential eviction, and financial hardships due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The program is targeted toward low-income renters and their landlords.

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, as 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 take steps to verify that they meet eligibility requirements and sign the application. They will be notified once your application is submitted and asked to submit their required information.

The state began accepting applications for the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program on March 15, 2021 and will continue receiving applications until all funds are exhausted. If you live in a large city or county with a population over 200,000, your local government may have received funding directly from the federal government and is likely to be operating its own local program, and may have different application timeframes. Apply today to see which program you qualify for.

Community organizations exist throughout the state that can provide COVID-safe appointments (by phone or in person). A full list of organizations can be found here or by calling 833-687-0967.

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis, although applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program is not offered on a first-come, first-served basis. To ensure that those most in need receive assistance, the state will first review and commit funds to applicants who are income-eligible and who are at the greatest risk of eviction.

The state’s current eviction moratorium has been extended to September 30, 2021.

Eligible renters may also receive assistance for past due utilities payments. Past due utilities accumulated from April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021 will be compensated in full up to a total of 12 months. You may receive assistance paying utilities and home energy costs that are not covered by the landlord and that are billed separately such as electricity, gas, water sewer, trash removal, and energy costs, such as fuel oil. Internet service is also an eligible cost.

All payments for utilities and home energy costs should be supported by a bill, invoice, or evidence of payment to the provider of the utility or home energy service. Utilities and home energy costs that are covered by the landlord will be treated as rent. Payments of utilities costs will be paid directly to a utility provider based on the utility bill information provided.

The landlord is encouraged to start an application in the state program through housingiskey.com. Once the landlord application is submitted, the system will send an email to the renter(s) asking him/her/them to start the associated tenant application and provide documentation to establish identify, residency, income, and any utility assistance needs not provided in the landlord application. If the renter does not have an email address, a call center representative will reach out to him/her/them. A renter may also apply without the assistance of the landlord, in which case the landlord will be notified and asked to sign off on and participate in the renter’s application process. Even where a renter elects to apply for assistance directly, to the state must attempt to pay the landlord first.

Once applications are submitted, applicants may monitor the status of their applications by logging into their Neighborly account here or by calling a program representative at 833-430-2122 (toll free) between 7 am and 7 pm seven days a week. Applicants will be automatically contacted by a program representative once their application is reviewed, or if the application is found to be missing required documentation.

Yes. The landlord, renter, and/or utility provider will be notified automatically of payment by email after the renter, landlord, and pay request have been determined eligible and payment calculation has been completed and verified by the payment team. Applicants can also check the status of their applications at any time through the online application portal at HousingIsKey.com, or by calling a program representative at 833-430-2122 (toll free) daily from 7 am – 7 pm Pacific time. The status report will indicate whether and when a payment has been made.

If the landlord agrees to participate in this program, payment will be made directly to the landlord on behalf of the eligible household. If the landlord refuses to participate, payment will be made directly to the renter. The same is true for utility payments that are owed to the landlord as required by the lease agreement.

No. Applicants will not be asked about their immigration status, nor will they be required to show proof of citizenship.


Resources for Local Partners

We are seeking nonprofit, tribal and community partners with capacity to provide local, on-the-ground and in-language support to help them access the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program.

If interested, complete an application with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

Information for Prospective Local Partners

Emergency Rental Assistance Program