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If COVID-19 has impacted your ability to pay or receive rent and utility payments, the State of California is here to help you. The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program supports eligible renters and landlords by providing 100 percent financial assistance for rent and utilities, to prevent housing instability, potential eviction, and financial hardships due to the COVID-19.  

Income-eligible renters and their landlords may receive financial assistance dating back to April 1, 2020 as well as future rent payments. Utility assistance will be paid directly to the utility provider. 

How can I apply?  

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis, although applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program is not offered on a first-come, first-served basis. To ensure that those most in need receive assistance, the state will first review and commit funds to applicants who are income-eligible and who are at the greatest risk of eviction. There is no deadline to apply.  

Who is eligible?  

The program is targeted toward low-income renters and their landlords. 

Renters: If you have been impacted by COVID-19, are income eligible (the state will calculate this when you apply) and have unpaid rent or utilities, or need help with future rent or utilities, you may apply for the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program. 

Landlords: If you have renters who are behind on their rent and need financial assistance to support this income loss, you may apply for the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program, as long as: 

Your renter’s household is income eligible (the state will calculate this when they apply). 

All payments you receive must be used to satisfy the renter’s unpaid rent. Eligible timeframe for financial assistance dates back to April 1, 2020. 

Your renter/s take steps to verify that they meet eligibility requirements and sign the application. They will be notified once your application is submitted and asked to submit their required information. 

The Unity Council is here to help! If you would like assistance completing the Housing is Key application, please email or call (510) 535-6101 to schedule a phone appointment.   

Applicants will not be asked about their immigration status, nor will they be required to show proof of citizenship.  

For more information about the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program, please visit