Financial Aid Resources Available for Renters

Financial Aid Resources Available for Renters

Sun Staff Reports

As the California statewide eviction moratorium expires, the city of Alameda urges eligible tenants and landlords to apply for financial assistance. Throughout the COVID-19 emergency, the State of California has protected tenants from eviction if they were negatively affected by COVID-19.

The eviction moratorium expired Sept. 30, but Alameda tenants can still be protected from eviction if they apply for rental assistance and utility payment relief from the Alameda County Housing Secure program. To date, more than 92 Alameda tenants and landlords have had their Housing Secure program applications approved, receiving more than $1,540,528 in funding for rental assistance and utility payments.

Renters with household incomes not more than 80 percent of the adjusted median income (e.g., up to $109,600 for a household of four) are eligible. The program covers 100 percent of past rent owed on or after April 1, 2020. Qualifying tenants and landlords should apply as soon as possible at www.achousingsecure.org. For assistance completing the application, please call Eden Information and Referral at 2-1-1 or 1-888-886-9660.

Residential tenants need to resume regular rent payments as of Oct. 1. More information about past rent payments, current rent payments, and other protections is available at www.alamedaca.gov/rentfaq.

COVID-19 has had a deep impact on our community. In addition to the Alameda County Housing Secure program, there are additional resources available.

• Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) has an emergency assistance program that offers qualified customers a 25 percent reduction on their monthly costs. AMP also has Project EASE (Energy Assistance through Supportive Efforts) which provides short-term emergency assistance to residential customers. Information about both programs and how to sign up is at www.alamedamp.com/175/COVID- 19-Financial-Assistance-Project-EA.

• The City Council funded legal assistance for low-income residential tenants. For households of a certain income, you may receive free legal services and more information on protections by contacting Centro Legal De La Raza at 437-1554.

• The City Council prohibited no-fault evictions (note: non-payment of rent is considered at-fault) until 30 days after the local emergency expires. As of Sept. 20, the local emergency is still in place.

• The City Council barred landlords from shutting off utilities, except in the case of an emergency. This protection also remains in place until 30 days after the local emergency expires.

• The City Council adopted a freeze on rent increases for fully regulated, residential rental units until 60 days after the local emergency expires.