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State officials simplify application process for rental assistance

On June 30, Californians protected by the state’s eviction moratorium will have to go back to paying their rent in full or risk being evicted.

CALIFORNIA, USA — The state announced Thursday that in an effort to help more Californians access $1.5 billion of rental assistance before the June 30 deadline they have simplified the application process. 

The simplification requires fewer documents and partnering with local organizations to help get people signed up. This comes after the state admits it has had challenges actually paying out and getting the money into the hands of renters who need it.

“Problems, especially ensuring that we were checking that there wouldn’t be any duplication of benefits,” said Gustavo Velasquez, Director of California Department of Housing and Community Development. 

RELATED: Rent in Sacramento is growing at double the national average

Assemblymember David Chui said he does not believe the state will be able to get the billions of dollars of rent relief out to those in need before the eviction moratorium expires. When it comes to whether the moratorium will be extended or not, Chu says discussions are happening.

“There are discussions happening as we speak on that conversation and I would say stay tuned,” Chui said. 

RELATED: Housing advocates raise red flags about possible eviction crisis

Chui said while pushing for an extension, legislators are also discussing possibly providing financial assistance to pay 100% of a tenant’s rental debt and not asking the landlord to forgive a portion of it  

“Many of us people the 80/20 balance should be changed so that tenants receive financial assistance for 100% of the rent and landlords don’t have to forgive any of the rental debt,” Chui said.

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