ANAHEIM, Calif. — The city of Anaheim is giving struggling landlords a rental assistance lifeline.
City officials said landlords affected by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and the state's eviction moratorium could apply for financial assistance to cover their tenant's unpaid rent and utility bills.
The city will cover 100% of back rent and utilities owed by struggling low-income tenants, Anaheim spokeswoman Lauren Gold told Spectrum News 1.
According to the city, the program is only for landlords that rent out to renters who make 80% of the area median income and may have lost jobs or work hours due to the fallout from the pandemic. For example, in Orange County, the 80% AMI for a one-person household is $75,300, two people $86,050, three-person $96,800 and four-person $107,550.
"We've seen a lot of tenants and small mom-and-pop landlords that have been hard hit by the pandemic, struggling to pay rent or mortgage and utilities," said Lauren Gold, an Anaheim spokeswoman. "We're proud to cover 100% of their bills so they can start fresh and move on from the pandemic and land back on their feet."
Gold said the city received 80 applications from landlords since starting the program's process earlier this month. The city plans to allow struggling tenants to apply soon, she said. The city is accepting the applications on a rolling basis.
The city's program for landlords comes a little more than a month after Gov. Gavin Newsom extended the state's eviction moratorium through Sept. 30, 2021.
Newsom's legislation would also clear rent debt for low-income Californians that have suffered economic hardship due to the pandemic.
The state has earmarked $5.2 billion in a rent relief program to assist low-income tenants and small landlords.
But the extension is another blow for small mom-and-pop landlords, many of whom have also struggled during the pandemic. With so many renters unable to pay rent, some small landlords have been unable to pay their mortgage and other property related bills.
For the past year and a half, Anaheim has provided rental assistance programs for landlords and tenants.
Last year, the city approved $5 million in community relief fund for tenants unable to pay rent. That money helped 736 families with up to $2,100 in assistance, the city said.
In March, the city unveiled a program to provide $20 million to families and landlords. Under that program, the city pays 80% of rent owed by a tenant if the landlord agrees to forgive the remaining 20%.
If a landlord chooses not to participate, the city said that their tenant could still apply to receive 25% of their rent owed.
Those previous rounds relied primarily on tenants to apply and only covered a portion of the back-rent owed.
This current round is for landlords only and offers complete coverage of rent and utilities owed by eligible tenants, making 80% AMI.
According to Gold, Anaheim is still processing payments from the March rental assistance program and that any money leftover would roll over to this landlord program.
The city expects to receive an additional $15 million from the federal government to contribute to this rental assistance program.