The more than $5 billion relief fund the state of California set up to help landlords and tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic is unable to cover the demand for assistance despite requesting almost $2 billion in additional funds, The Mercury News reports.
State officials said that an estimated $2.5 billion in additional funding was needed to cover the gap between the $5.2 billion fund and the $6.9 billion in aid requests that the state has received, though some of those requests likely will be denied.
According to the Mercury News, tenants and landlords in California send in their applications, and the state will pay for up to 100% of back rent to landlords on behalf of eligible renters with low-levels of income. Some of these renters may also qualify to have their future rent payments covered or partially paid for.
"It's premature in this moment to know if we are over-subscribed," Geoffrey Ross, the deputy director of the California department of housing and community development, told the newspaper, adding that it’s "because we don’t know how much more funding we will receive."
Lourdes Castro Ramirez, the state’s Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency secretary, told the Mercury News that "California will need significantly more funding from future federal reallocations in order to continue to meet the needs of low-income California renters impacted by COVID-19."
Debra Carlton, who is executive vice president of the California Apartment Association, told the newspaper that "we are very concerned."
"Millions of dollars have gone unpaid to tenants and owners. Many owners have received no rent for months," Carlton said. "They cannot pay their taxes, mortgages, and other expenses if the rent continues to go unpaid."
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