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Chula Vista Unveils $16.8 Million Rental And Utility Relief Plan

Patients waiting in line for a COVID-19 vaccine outside a vaccination super s...

Photo by Matt Hoffman

Above: Patients waiting in line for a COVID-19 vaccine outside a vaccination super station in Chula Vista, Calif. Feb. 5, 2021.

On Tuesday, the Chula Vista City Council is set to approve a $16.8 million relief fund, meant to help residents pay back-rent and other missed payments related to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas announced the relief fund will help not only cover past or current rent, but also utility bills.

Listen to this story by Max Rivlin-Nadler.

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“Many have struggled to pay the rent, gas, electric, water and sewage bills,” Salas said at a press conference Monday morning. “Some have been faced with these hardships for the first time ever. These funds can help those who fit the eligibility requirements to get those bills paid.”

Currently, an eviction moratorium in the state protects most renters from eviction over non-payment. But back-rent continues to pile up for renters, and there have been no similar programs for those who have fallen behind on utilities.

The city of Chula Vista has set up a website for those seeking assistance to see if they qualify and a call-in line for those without internet access. Residents can sign up for notifications about the program online.

The County of San Diego has its own rent relief fund, which is meant to reach county residents who live outside of cities like Chula Vista, which has qualified for direct rental aid from the state and federal governments.

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Photo of Max Rivlin-Nadler

Max Rivlin-Nadler
Speak City Heights Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover City Heights, a neighborhood at the intersection of immigration, gentrification, and neighborhood-led health care initiatives. I'm interested in how this unique neighborhood deals with economic inequality during an unprecedented global health crisis.

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