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Those Seeking State Rental Assistance Have Until March 31 to Apply
 

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By Lookout Staff

March 17, 2022 -- Tenants and landlords impacted by the coronavirus emergency have until March 31 to apply for state assistance with rent and utilities.

As of March 9, more than 2,700 Santa Monica households had applied for the rental assistance, with a total of nearly $27 million distributed to more than 1,700 households, City officials said.

The average assistance is more than $15,000 per household.

"Tenants who have lost income or had increased expenses due to the pandemic and who have unpaid rent or utilities or need help with future rent and utilities may qualify," officials said.

Landlords must apply for rent relief before attempting to evict tenants for non-payment.

To complete the application process, renters need proof of income, a copy of their rental agreement and a rent ledger showing how much is owed. Tenants who want help with utility bills need copies of bills.

Even if applicants don’t have the paperwork, they can still apply, officials said.

Most of the information can be certified in the application, and the applicant will need to provide proof of identification.

The state calculates and determines an applicant’s eligibility based on whether the household income meets a specified percentage of the Area Median Income (AMI).

Income-eligible applicants may qualify regardless of immigration status or citizenship, officials said. State rental assistance doesn’t count as earned income for tenants and won’t impact other state assistance programs such as CalFresh or CalWORKS.

The City is offering help for Santa Monica residents who need assistance applying for rent relief.

To ask questions or schedule appointments, tenants and landlords can call 311 or email 311@santamonica.gov with the subject "Help with Rental and Utility Assistance."

Appointments can be in-person, online or by phone for help with everything from filling out applications to help scanning or copying documents.

Tenants and landlords who have already applied can call (833) 430-2122 or log in to their existing account.


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