Community Bridges Local “Housing is Key” Rent Relief Partner Urges Santa Cruz County Residents to Apply For Funding

Community Bridges Local “Housing is Key” Rent Relief Partner Urges Santa Cruz County Residents to Apply for Funding

 Eviction Protections in Place through September 30

Santa Cruz County, CA – Santa Cruz County officials are emphasizing that the July 31 end to the federal eviction protections program, and subsequent extension by the Centers for Disease Control, has no effect on California renters. AB 832, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on June 28, extended California’s critical eviction protections through September 30, 2021, giving California the strongest eviction protections in the country. The bill also provided $5.2 billion to help struggling California renters and landlords by covering up to 100 percent of rent and utilities that date back to April 2020. 

Santa Cruz County and its partner Community Bridges, which helps county residents apply for help, is strongly encouraging both tenants and landlords with unpaid rent to apply as soon as possible to the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program at HousingIsKey.com. The program now covers up to 100 percent of unpaid or future rent and may also help low-income renters pay some or all their unpaid utility bills, including gas, electric, water and internet services.  

 Of the nearly 4,000 eligible households in Santa Cruz County only 1 in 5 eligible have completed the application to receive assistance through HousingIsKey.com or by calling toll-free 833-430-2122. Rent and utility relief is available to income-eligible renters and landlords who suffered a financial hardship because of COVID-19.

 “Santa Cruz County is in the top 12% in terms of performance compared to other counties across California,” stated Community Bridges’ CEO Raymon Cancino. “I’m proud of the fact that Community Bridges’ Family Resource Centers and our Local Partner Network collaborative are responsible for connecting more than 29% of all successful applicants here in Santa Cruz County with resources but there is still more work to do. We have over 3,100 households who still are in need and haven’t applied.”

 The Housing Is Key website was recently translated into Spanish, simplified Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Tagalog, and has been made easier to use from a mobile device. The updated application is now much shorter and requires less paperwork to file. Applicants who have already applied for relief, including those who have already been paid for past due rent or utilities, do not need to reapply to obtain additional assistance for future support.  A notification will go out to tenants and their landlords 60 days after initial payments are received with an invitation to update their current application with additional requests for financial assistance.

 Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until funds are exhausted, although applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applicant information is private and won’t be shared between landlord and tenant, and applicants will not be asked about immigration status, or asked to provide proof of citizenship.

 California provided $5.2 billion in rent relief to the state. Santa Cruz County residents have requested less than $10 million to date and much more is still available. If you need assistance in filling out the rent relief application or help with case management follow up, please call our housing support line to learn more about the program at (831) 219-8607, or visit communitybridges.org/Covid19.

 ABOUT COMMUNITY BRIDGES

Community Bridges envisions a thriving community where every person has the opportunity to unleash their full potential. Together, our family of programs delivers essential services, provides equitable access to resources, and advocates for health and dignity across every stage of life. To learn more, please visit www.communitybridges.org.

 The Community Bridges family of programs includes the Child & Adult Care Food Program, Child Development Division, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), La Manzana Community Resources, Live Oak Community Resources, Mountain Community Resources, Nueva Vista Community Resources, Elderday Adult Day Health Care, Lift Line and Meals on Wheels for Santa Cruz County.

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