Educational efforts underway to help Santa Monicans seek rental relief

The Rent Control Board could spend $ 10,000 in efforts to educate Santa Monica renters and landlords about evacuation pending discussions at that Thursday’s meeting.

Eviction moratoriums are currently a complicated web of overlapping rules at the local, state, and state levels, but Santa Monica has proposed a $ 55,000 plan to educate everyone about the resources available to house the people and pay the necessary bills.

After a federal eviction moratorium was recently allowed to expire, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the federal level issued a new moratorium on evictions that should last until October 3.

The new moratorium aims to keep millions in their homes and, like all anti-clearance efforts carried out during the pandemic, is intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The order states that vaccination rates are lower in the areas most at risk of eviction. The moratorium also gives states additional time to provide nearly $ 47 billion in rental subsidies, the majority of which has yet to be distributed to renters and landlords.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of California introduced its own tenant protection through a law called the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act. The safeguards provided by the law are in addition to the safeguards provided by other federal, state, and local landlord-tenant laws, including the CDC’s moratorium on partial eviction.

In Santa Monica, the city has also enacted hyper-local rules that, in addition to eviction protection in the event of non-payment of rent, extend the ban on innocent termination of tenancies or apartments (with the exception of a limited exception for evictions from single-family homes). Apartments), unauthorized residents / pets and harassment until September 30th.

“Housing is a human right. And while we still have a long way to go to make available and affordable housing a reliable reality in California, we have some important safeguards for those affected by the financial impact of COVID-19, “the California attorney general said Bonta on Tuesday. “Know your rights and take advantage of the resources California has made available to you.”

City hall has proposed a plan to educate local tenants and property owners about their share of federal aid.

“Tenants from the Rental Control Agency and the city are coordinating an outreach program to educate the Santa Monica community about California’s Rental Assistance Program, which has more than $ 7 billion in federal funding to help landlords and tenants struggling with COVID- 19 are affected, ”said the RCB staff report. “Together with the nationwide eviction moratorium, the rental assistance program aims to accommodate families, protect tenants from evictions, and help both landlords and tenants recover from the economic effects of COVID-19. The nationwide “CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program” (commonly referred to as “Housing is Key”) is available to income-earning households with 100 percent of the unpaid rent and ancillary costs for past and future amounts owed.

According to the Housing is Key website, only $ 243 million had been distributed to approximately 132,076 applications by the first week of August.

Santa Monica households have submitted 1,250 applications to date, requesting $ 20,327,062 in funding. Officials said it provided $ 7,535,516 in paid assistance to 458 households, an average of $ 16,453 per household.

Santa Monica has proposed a $ 55,000 plan to raise awareness of the aid available.

The plan provides for postcards to be sent to every household in Santa Monica (approx. 55,000) in four languages, follow-up postcards to residents of approx. Specific groups – mainly long-term renters (approx. 7,000) and residential buildings in certain areas, postcards for distribution to customers the Disability Community Resource Center (DCRC), meals on wheels and other potentially endangered communities, information to targeted companies and institutions (e.g. blackboards, grocery stores, laundromats, gas stations / convenience stores, thrift stores, banks / cash shops, Places of worship, parks, community centers, libraries and clinics), media work and information given to community organizations.

“Given the availability of federally funded Rent Relief Funds, the extreme urgency of housing tenants, and a desire to ensure landlords get healthy for unpaid rents and ancillary charges, staff recommend that the Rental Control Bureau approve expenses of up to $ 10,000 Agency’s financial contribution to the outreach program, ”the staff report reads. “These efforts are potentially a win-win situation for landlords and tenants and make it possible to use the city’s funds for a broad-based campaign that sometimes reaches property owners and tenants of rent-controlled units several times. A contribution of this amount ensures that the planned efforts are adequately financed. “

RCB will meet virtually on Thursday, August 12th, at 7 p.m. The session will be available on the city’s website. You can find more information about rent allowance at or

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