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Local landlord weighs in on launch of rent relief program

California's Covid-19 rent relief program is now online and taking applications. Action News Now spoke with one local landlord about the new access to help.

Posted: Mar 15, 2021 5:18 PM

CHICO, Calif. - California's Covid-19 Rent Relief program is now online and taking applications. It provides links for landlords, local cities and counties, as well as tenants.

Sergio Garcia has been a landlord for five years. He said he's been in constant communication with all of his tenants, offering them whatever help they need.

"It's challenging and you have to make sure that the people living in your apartments can manage dealing with the pandemic," Garcia said. "We are painfully aware that not everyone is as fortunate enough to remain with a job and still be employed. So we are in constant contact with our tenants to make sure they are able to make their rent and if not see how we can be of assistance."

COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act - Read More

Some of Garcia's tenants are working fewer hours at their jobs but he's been able to work with them. Garcia said help from the state is critical for landlords who are not as fortunate.

"I think it's a Godsend, offering to pay 80% of the back-rents, that's super helpful to the landlord that also probably has a mortgage he or she needs to pay so that's helpful," Garcia explained. "Luckily, we have been very blessed ourselves and our tenants have not been forced to default, in that respect, we have been very fortunate but we are aware of the difficulties this pandemic poses." 

Garcia will continue to work with all of his tenants and offer them whatever help they need.

Under the new rent relief program, landlords can get reimbursed up to 80% of past due rent from last April through the 1st of this March, if they waive the remaining 20%. Renters with landlords who opt out can still apply and get up to 25% of unpaid rent paid directly to their landlord, thats enough to legally keep them in their homes under the extended eviction protection law.

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