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Need Help with Back Rent?

The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief effort is designed to help low-income Californians through the payment of back rent to landlords. Funding for this effort comes from the $2.6 billion in federal rental assistance.

Who can apply?

Tenants (renters)

How it Works

Unpaid rent

Landlords who participate in the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program can get reimbursed for 1000% of an eligible tenant’s unpaid rent between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

Eligible tenants whose landlords choose not to participate in the program may apply on their own and receive 25% of unpaid rent between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. Paying this 25 percent by June 30, 2021 can help keep you in your home under the extended eviction protections in SB 91.

Prospective Rent

Eligible tenants can receive prospective rental assistance equal to 25% of their monthly rent. Combined with the assistance available for unpaid rent, prospective assistance will help tenants stay housed once the eviction protections in SB 91 expire on June 30, 2021.

Utility Assistance

Eligible tenants may also receive assistance for utility arrears and prospective payments. Utility arrears accumulated from April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021 will be compensated at 100% of cost, limited to a total of 12 months.

Application must be submitted and include all required information, along with necessary verification items.

Once an application has been successfully received, both the landlord and tenant will be notified about the application status

The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program is not on a first come, first served basis. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis. For all applications received, the state will first review and commit funds to applicants who are eligible and meet the priority requirement having income at or below 50% of area median income (AMI) to ensure those most in need receive assistance.


Am I Eligible?

If you are a landlord who has one or more eligible tenants, you can apply to get reimbursed for 80% of each eligible tenant’s unpaid rent between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, if you agree to waive the remaining 20% of unpaid rent for that specific time period.

Requirements include:

All payments must be used to satisfy the tenant’s unpaid rent for the period between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021
Your tenants must take steps to verify that they meet eligibility requirements and sign the application
Your tenant’s household income must be at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI)

Landlord Checklist PDF

Before applying, you will need:

Property Deed(s)
Mortgage Note(s)
Property Tax Statement
Copy of Property Insurance Statement
Lease or rental agreement reflecting tenant’s name, residence address, and monthly rent due.Coming Soon - List of organizations to assist you with your application.


Am I Eligible?

Eligible tenants whose landlords choose not to participate in the program may apply on their own and receive 25% of unpaid rent between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

If one or more individuals in your household meet all of the following, you are eligible to apply:

Have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due to COVID–19; and
Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which may include:

  • a past-due utility or rent notice or eviction notice;
  • unsafe or unhealthy living conditions; or
  • any other evidence of such risk, as determined by the program
  • Have a household income that is not more than 80 percent of the area median income
  • Applicants will not be asked about their citizenship, nor will they be required to show proof of citizenship.

Before applying, you will need:

Proof of loss of income due to COVID-19, which may include the following items.

A letter of termination from your job
Most recent pay stub with employer’s information
Evidence that you have applied for unemployment benefits
Evidence that your unemployment benefits have expired, including unemployment benefits provided through the CARES Act
For those self-employed: tax records, income statements, or other evidence showing loss of income
Other items will be considered

Tennet Checklist PDF

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CA COVID-19 Rent Relief

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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 past due rent isn’t one of them.

CA COVID-19 Rent Relief will help income-eligible households pay rent and utilities, both for arrears and future payment. The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provides funding to support the program and tenant protection laws signed by Governor Newsom.

Caring Choices is a community partner and is dedicated to providing assistance to tenants and landlords impacted by COVID-19. We are committed to serving people where they live, providing equitable access to program resources and easing the burden on Californians.