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Newsom Touts Rental Assistance Program

California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks to members of the press at a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.
Associated Press
California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks to members of the press at a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.

The last fifteen months have been very challenging for those who struggle to pay their rent.

On June 28, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 832 to help Californians get back on track. Today, Newsom gave an update of the program’s impact.

Newsom Touts Rental Assistance Program
Listen to this story by Melissa Mae.

“We put a program up that is the largest now in the nation, $5.2 billion to pay 100% of your back rent to April of last year, and to pay 100% of your rent through September 30th of this year if you’ve been impacted directly by COVID-19,” Newsom said.


“$1.02 billion dollars as of this morning has been requested under this program,” Newsom continued, “We have over 108,000, just shy of 109,000 applications.”

RELATED: Rental Relief Aims To Prevent Tsunami Of Evictions, But Will It Be Enough?

Jennifer Estrada is benefitting from the program.

“On June on the 30th I went to apply, and it works and it’s real, Estrada said. "They paid for my bills. They paid two months rent I was behind, plus they’re paying until September. People don’t believe it, but it does work. It’s true."

“Since the signing of AB 832 we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of families that are applying for the state’s rental assistance program,” said Lourdes Castro Ramirez, California’s Secretary of Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. “We have also seen the doubling of the total rental assistance that is going out.”


Along with rent relief, an additional $2 billion is available to help pay utility bills, including internet.

RELATED: Millions Available For Rental Assistance, But Not Everyone Who Needs It Is Trying To Get It

Here in San Diego county, four community-based organizations have partnered with the state to help anyone who is eligible to fill out an application. Those organizations are: Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Institute, Campesinos Unidos, Casa Familiar Inc. and Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management, Inc. They are available by phone and in-home visits. There are computers and tablets available at each location.

“These are long federal applications that are combined with state and local rules and regulations. We have teams of people that are helping in that process as well,” Newsom said.

Video: Newsom Touts Rental Assistance Program

Relief gets paid directly to landlords. “So nobody could be thinking, ‘Oh, they’re going to just steal money,’ or anything like that," Estrella said, "and I’m one of the ones who is proof the housing foundation does work and there is money out there to help and we get to sleep better at night."

Newsom encouraged people to apply before September 30, 2021.

“After September 30th, the likelihood we’re going to extend an eviction moratorium is very modest,” Newsom noted.

Anyone who is income-eligible can apply.

“This program is available to all California residents regardless of immigration status,” Castro Ramírez said.

The state’s goal is to disperse rent relief money 30 days after the completion of the application process. Go to to learn more about the rent relief program and to fill out the application.