Tenant Advocates Call for Permanent Protections in Advance of June 30th Expiration Date

Posted By: Daniel M. Yukelson Industry News,

On June 28, 2022, with just three days remaining prior to the expiration of statewide eviction protections and the state’s rental relief program, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) held a press conference calling on local elected officials to enact permanent tenant protections given there was no likelihood of a further state extension. During the press conference, multiple grievances were expressed with regard to smaller, “mom and pop” landlords who have allegedly been harassing tenants, proceeding with illegal evictions, and unwilling to work with tenants by allowing for partial rent payments or working out payment plans.  Researchers, tenants’ organizations, and many tenants themselves expressed that the state must be held accountable for the faulty implementation of the rental relief program known as “Housing is Key.”

During the press conference, some Housing is Key program statistics were presented.  It was reported that approximately 85,901 renter households were still awaiting review of their rental relief applications, and approximately 157,881 total denials had been processed to date, or about one-third of total applications received by the Housing is Key program.  The most applications processed by the state in one week was approximately 21,500.  The average waiting period from submission to review processing and then to payment has been about four months. 

Also reported was the primary reasons for denial of rental relief applications, which were:

  • Failed multiple attempts to contact applicants, and application deemed incomplete
  • Property is not physically located within California
  • Applicant not a qualified resident of the applied for property or unit
  • Household earnings above the eligible Area Median Income range
  • Inconsistent or unverifiable information provided by applicant that could not be substantiated
  • Household had not suffered COVID-19 related financial hardship
  • Applicant’s assistance request outside of rental relief program eligibility period of April 1, 2020, through March 31, 2022

Comments by renters during the press conference included a single mother from the San Diego Area that had alleged her application was approved, but when she called to ask about the status of her funds, she was told repeatedly that the program has no money.  Another mother who spoke from the Los Angeles Area alleged that following the loss of her job, she had applied for rental relief and when it came time to recertify in January 2022, her landlord had obtained an unlawful detainer and she was evicted by May 2022.

It certainly appears that tenants and their advocates literally have an army of people and professionals looking out for their interests and working on their behalf.  It’s very difficult to imagine how tenants really believe they are not being protected.