Preventing an Eviction and Debt Epidemic: Delivering Effective Emergency COVID-19 Rental Assistance in California


With California’s eviction moratorium scheduled to expire on June 30, more than 700,000 California households behind on rent, and less than half of one percent of the state’s total federal emergency pandemic rental assistance funds paid out, California faces a potential eviction epidemic. To inform policymaking to strengthen state’s rent relief program, Housing NOW, BARHII, and PolicyLink surveyed 177 people who understand the program the best: those conducting intake and outreach for state and local emergency rental assistance programs. We found that tenants are facing numerous challenges accessing relief, including technological and language barriers, difficulty supplying the necessary documentation of income losses, difficulty communicating with landlords or obtaining documentation from them, and fear of landlord harassment/retaliation or immigration enforcement.

Publication Date: May 25, 2021