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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 station in Chula Vista, Calif. Feb. 5, 2021.
Matt Hoffman
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.

Chula Vista Unveils $16.8 Million Rental And Utility Relief Plan
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.

Chula Vista To Consider Rental Assistance

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.