When Landlords Didn’t Take COVID Aid Money, Tenants Missed Out on Rent Relief

by on March 30, 2021 · 0 comments

in San Diego

by Cody Dulaney / inewsource / March 30, 2021

The city and county of San Diego set aside more than $47 million in federal coronavirus aid last fall to pay landlords whose low-income tenants were behind on rent. But some eligible renters didn’t get any help because their landlords didn’t take the money and they weren’t required to explain why.

Public records obtained by inewsource show 1,268 eligible households were denied assistance from the county’s rent relief program because their landlords either refused to participate or missed deadlines. The city’s program, overseen by the San Diego Housing Commission, had 19 households with landlords who wouldn’t accept payments, an agency spokesperson said.

Now, more than $211 million in state and federal funds have poured into the region to help low-income renters. And under a new state law, this time the programs come with built-in incentives designed to persuade landlords to take the money.

Participating landlords would have to accept 80% of any rent owed since April through the end of this month and would have to waive the rest that is owed. If they refuse, eligible tenants would receive a payment for 25% of their rental debt over the same period. As long as tenants use that money to pay their landlord, they would still be protected from eviction until June 30 — when a state moratorium is scheduled to expire.

Under the new law, landlords would be required to accept an eligible tenant’s payment of 25%, said Debra Carlton, an executive with the California Apartment Association, the state’s largest landlord group.

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