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California to cover overdue rent for tenants, landlords due to COVID-19 pandemic

The plan includes another $2 billion to cover overdue water and utility bills.

STOCKTON, Calif — California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide $5.2 billion plan that will cover overdue rent for tenants and landlords due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We want encourage folks that are maybe on the fence or not. Believe that it is real - 100%- your back rent paid off going back to April of last year, not this year. And, we'll pay your rent going forward to September 30th of this year," said Newsom.

He made the announcement in the Southern California city of Bell Gardens, just southeast of Los Angeles.

The plan includes another $2 billion to cover overdue water and utility bills.

The money comes from excess federal funds from pandemic relief packages and aid.

"This is available to all eligible individuals and families, households that earn anywhere from 50% to 80% of federal poverty," Newsom added.

In other words, you would have to make less than 80% of the median income for the county and household size where you live. For example, in San Joaquin County for a family of four, it would be a household income of $60,000.

To determine if you qualify, apply on the state's website called "Housing is Key."  You can scroll down to "Tenants" or "Landlords" to apply.

The state promises, from the time an application is submitted and reviewed, that you'll get your money within 30 days. 

"It is our goal that the disbursement, rental and utility arrears, are processed in a timely manner," said Lourdes Castro Ramirez, the California Secretary of Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency.

Documentation for renters includes verification of loss income, like a termination notice. For landlords, its documentation includes showing the amount of unpaid rent and more.

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