ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — California lawmakers have extended rental protections for residents struggling to pay landlords, but people without an application in progress can no longer apply.
However, Orange County and some of its biggest cities have filled in the gap, fashioning programs, some new, others old, that residents can apply to now.
The county has 28 programs, many of them still accepting applications for rental assistance. While lawmakers extended rental protections until June 30, that’s only for people already with an application in the pipeline. Others struggling to pay rent, electrical bills or other utilities can still get help.
Some cities, like Irvine and Santa Ana, have built their own programs that target residents within their cities or certain zip codes.
The over two dozen programs are part of Orange County’s efforts to cut down homelessness. Katrina Foley, 2nd District Orange County Supervisor, plans to hold a housing hearing April 20, which aims to drill down on who is most vulnerable to losing housing, and why others are stuck on the outside looking in.
“What I’m hearing is that the cost of rent for average Orange County residents of all ages is just so high that people can’t afford to live here,” Foley said.
The hearing will include a look into the county’s housing voucher system and why more landlords don’t accept them.
“My priority over the next few weeks is to find out why.”
Below are some programs available for tenants looking for relief, or landlords struggling to make mortgage payments:
- The California Mortgage Relief Program funnels federal funds to homeowners. Applicants to this program must be at or below 100% of Orange County’s medium income, missed at least two payments since before Dec. 27, 2021, or faced a pandemic-related financial hardship.
Call for more information: 1-800-569-4287 or visit camortgagerelief.org.
- The pandemic and related job losses have hurt the ability of some to pay not just rent, but other utilities. Irvine has a program which aims to fill in the gaps for essentials like gas, water or even bus passes and internet costs.
Applicants must reside within the 92618 zip code. Call for more information: 949-854-1000 ext. 236.
- This Santa Ana program provides partial assistance for rent or utilities for applicants experiencing a financial crisis. This first-come first-serve program can be completed by phone and is paid directly to landlords. Processing takes about two to four weeks. It provides partial rent or utility assistance for households experiencing financial crisis.
Applicants who have already received help from the Salvation Army are not eligible. Call for more information: 714-783-2344.