Federal rent relief program rolls out in Contra Costa County


By Kathy Chouteau

Are you a landlord or tenant impacted by COVID-19? If so, help is here in the form of a COVID-19 Rent Relief Program that will be accepting applications at or shortly after 5 p.m. today. The program is administered by Contra Costa County, which received $75 million as part of federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. A total of $2.6 billion was allocated for Californians in need of rental relief.

“This funding for COVID-19 relief cannot come any sooner to help provide the hardest hit individuals and families in Contra Costa with financial assistance with rent and utilities payments and help them gain back financial and housing stability,” said Board Chair, Supervisor Diane Burgis. “My colleagues on the board and I remain committed to helping residents get back on their feet, especially now that we have safe, effective vaccines that will help end this pandemic.”

To qualify for the program—which assists income-qualified renters impacted by COVID-19 and who require assistance to pay for rent or utilities—an applicant’s household income may not exceed 80 percent of the local median income, per the County. Renters who are eligible for the program but whose landlords don’t participate in it are still able to receive 25 percent of unpaid rent accrued between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.Future rent assistance is also available to eligible renters equal to 25 percent of their monthly rent.

According to the County, the program also provides up to 80 percent rent reimbursement to landlords for unpaid rent accrued between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

“I am appreciative of the partnership with local governments like Contra Costa for their vote of confidence in our rent relief program,” said California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramirez. “We have been closely working together to ensure we provide rent relief and support to those communities hardest hit by the pandemic.”

To check eligibility for the program and to apply online, click here for services in English and here for Spanish. For assistance, and to apply via phone, tenants and landlords can contact the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Call Center at 1-833-430-2122. Get more info and resources at Housingiskey.com.