California has paid or approved over $1B in rent, utility payment relief

More than $1 billion in pandemic-related rent and utility payment assistance has been paid or approved for California residents, state officials announced Monday.

More than $526 million of the funding assistance has already been dispersed to nearly 45,000 households across the state that have suffered financial losses due to the pandemic, while the remaining $474 million has been approved for payment and is awaiting disbursement.

In total, the state has received more than 243,000 applications for rent and utility payment assistance, with requests totaling more than $2.2 billion.

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"In just six months, we have provided essential assistance to more than 44,000 households to keep families safely housed," Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. "Our program has been so successful that cities like Los Angeles decided to join efforts with the state to have an even greater impact."

State legislators approved allocating more than $7 billion for rent and utility relief payments in July, offering to pay up to 100 percent of outstanding rent payments that state residents owe because of the pandemic.   The state made roughly $5.2 billion available for rent relief and $2 billion available for residents with outstanding water and utility bills.

Both landlords and renters can apply directly to the state's rent relief program, which considers applicants regardless of their immigration status.

Relief funds are then paid directly to the person or organization to whom the outstanding payment is owed. The rent and utility relief application can be found here.