LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) – California Gov. Gavin Newsom reached a deal Friday with legislative leaders to pay off overdue rent that accumulated during the pandemic and extend the state’s eviction moratorium through Sept. 30.
Under the deal, which falls under Assembly Bill 832, California will use $5.2 billion in federal money to pay off past-due rent for eligible Californians.READ MORE: Vigil Held For 18-Year-Old Rylee Goodrich, 1 Of 2 Teen Victims Shot And Killed In Corona Movie Theater
That amount appears to be more than enough to cover all of the unpaid rent in the state, according to Jason Elliott, senior counselor to Newsom on housing and homelessness.
To be eligible for the $5.2 billion, tenants must pay at least 25% of what they owe by Sept. 30, sign a declaration that they have had economic hardship because of COVID-19 and must earn 80% or less of the area median income.
The extension gives state officials more time to disburse the money. A report from the California Department of Housing and Community Development showed the state had received $490 million in requests but had paid just $32 million covering 2,500 households as of May 31. That figure does not include some of the state’s larger cities, which run their own rental assistance programs.
California Apartment Association CEO Tom Bannon said California would not have to extend the eviction moratorium if it were able to spend money faster.READ MORE: More Businesses Like The Abbey in WeHo Setting Own Vaccine Requirements For Customers
“It’s unacceptable that state and local governments have distributed less than 15% of the billions of dollars earmarked for California rental assistance,” said Bannon, whose organization represents landlords. “California has got to distribute these dollars faster so that the eviction moratorium being introduced is the last.”
On Tuesday, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors also voted to extend the county’s eviction moratorium through Sept. 30. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week extended a nationwide moratorium on evictions through July 31.
Meanwhile, the L.A. City Council Wednesday adopted an ordinance that would prevent landlords from harassing tenants by eliminating services, withholding repairs or refusing to accept rent payments.
California has some of the most expensive rents in the country and an affordable housing shortage. About 25% of California’s renters pay at least half of their income on housing costs, a figure that includes rent and utilities, according to the California Department of Finance.MORE NEWS: 17-Year Old Girl Violently Assaulted While Jogging In Culver City
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