What you need to know about getting help paying rent in California

The California Department of Housing and Community Development submitted this information written by Director Gustavo F. Velasquez in order to keep Californians housed and prevent evictions. The article provides simple answers to common questions HCD Department has received in the past few weeks from potential applicants.


What type of utilities can I get help paying?

Eligible renters can receive assistance for utility bills, dating back to April 1, 2020. You can get up to 100 percent of up to 12 months of payments, and the money will go to your utility company directly. You can get help paying electricity, gas, water and sewer, trash removal and energy costs such as fuel oil. Internet and phone services are also eligible utility costs.

If I apply for help with paying my utilities, what do I need to provide?

All payments for utilities and home energy costs should be supported by a bill, invoice or evidence of payment to the provider of the utility or home energy service. Utilities and home energy costs that are covered by the landlord will be treated as rent.

I don’t have a printer or scanner so I can’t upload the paperwork to apply.   How can I get help?

There are community organizations throughout the state that are assisting applicants in a variety of ways. They can help you understand the program, check to see if you are eligible, provide assistance in multiple languages, help you fill out your application and upload required paperwork. To schedule an appointment for assistance with an organization near you, call (833) 687-0967.

I’m a landlord with tenants who are behind on rent payments, what are my options?

If you’re a property owner or landlord with one or more eligible renters who have unpaid rent accrued, you may be eligible to apply for financial assistance from the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program. The program covers 100 percent of unpaid rent and utilities. Applicants only need to provide contact information, proof of ownership and rent owed, as well as basic tenant contact information.

To check your eligibility and apply, visit HousingisKey.com