The California Apartment Association this week sponsored a legislative proposal that would help both landlords and renters endure the financial difficulties brought on by COVID-19.

Under SB 1410 by Sen. Lena Gonzalez, D-Long Beach, the state of California would make direct rental payments to help tenants who cannot afford to pay their rent.  SB 1410 would cover at least 80% of unpaid rent attributable to the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought frightening and uncertain times, leaving many Californians with health challenges and economic difficulties,” said Debra Carlton, CAA’s executive vice president for state public affairs. “Sen. Gonzalez has offered a solution that will help housing providers continue to pay their bills, and their employees, while also making it a little easier for struggling renters to get back on their feet financially when the pandemic ends.” 

Sen. Lena Gonzalez

Gonzalez said her legislation aims to provide economic security — both for renters and housing providers — during this unprecedented  time.

“With the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program, we will help renters maintain financial stability, both now and after the crisis,” the senator said. “At the same time, the program will allow mom-and-pop landlords to keep up with their own bills, including mortgages, so that they can continue to provide housing to California’s working families.”

Eligible renters for the temporary COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program would include those who can demonstrate, as determined by the Department of Housing and Community Development, an inability to pay rent due to COVID-19 or a government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rental housing providers who agree to participate in the program would receive at least 80% of the monthly rent the tenant owes for up to three months provided that they agree to do the following:

  • Not increase rent for the unit for a specified period.
  • Not charge late fees for the past due rent paid by the program.
  • Not pursue any remaining rent owed for the months paid by the program.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CAA has urged landlords to act with patience and compassion toward renters unable to cover their rent. The association asks that all rental housing providers abide by CAA’s Safe at Home Guidelines. Also, visit CAA’s COVID-19 resource page for the latest information on navigating the pandemic.