CARES Act Rental Relief and Looking Forward

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As eviction moratoriums come to a close at the federal, state and local levels, and federal CARES Act funding has reached the local level, it is crucial that local governments prepare for the wave of potential homelessness, mortgage defaults, and other housing issues that will undoubtedly come to a head. Some cities have taken the lead on finding resolutions, no matter how big or small, to try and ease these housing burdens.

  • In the city of Los Angeles, residents whose household incomes were at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (“AMI”), among other qualifications, qualified for up to $2,000 in rental relief to be paid directly to the landlords.

  • In Los Angeles County, $100 million dollars will be made available through federal coronavirus relief funds. Residents unable to pay their rent and living at or below 30% AMI, among other qualifications, can receive up to $10,000. If at or below 50% AMI, residents can receive up to $7,500. Again, this will be paid directly to the landlords to settle unpaid rent. Please note that this program began accepting applications as of August 17th.

  • In the city of San Diego, The San Diego Housing Commission is administering their COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which will provide up to $4,000 to residents at or below 60% AMI, among other qualifications. This is also funded through the Federal CARES Act and will be paid directly to the landlords.

The programs listed above are just some of the many programs implemented at local and county levels to try and alleviate the rent burden. However, this is only a drop in the bucket of a growing problem. As months progress, rent will still need to be paid. Landlords will need to continue to payoff their mortgages. Eviction moratoriums, while necessary, are only a stopgap to the oncoming flood. That is why it is important now more than ever that cities and counties in positions to do something, continue to be proactive in the coming months. Funds may come from additional federal stimulus packages, but they may not. Cities like Emeryville, have reached into their coffers to supplement funds received and to provide more help to struggling residents. Proactivity is the key to finding solutions for your region. For more information on rental relief and ideas on how your local jurisdiction can be more proactive, reach out to Associate, Rosa Romero at or Analyst, Alan Alé at