California has paid out $242.7 million in rental assistance so far this year, with plenty more in its coffers to cover back rent.
The disbursements represent just 5 percent of the $5.2 billion in federal and state funds available for the rental assistance program, which specifically covers back rent accrued during the pandemic and has income restrictions, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
Around 20,000 households have received assistance so far this year, state officials said — approximately the amount of applications that were filed the first day the program opened in April.
That’s about 22 percent of the 91,000 households that have filed applications for relief, requesting around $1 billion altogether.
The federal government created its $47 billion rental assistance program earlier this year. California received about $2.6 billion, and matched that amount with state funds.
The state also set aside $2 billion in its state budget to cover overdue utility bills.
In late June, California extended its eviction moratorium through the end of September. The moratorium has been in place since around the beginning of the pandemic, and housing advocates have raised concerns that a flood of evictions will ensue when the state allows it to expire.
[LAT] — Dennis Lynch