Gov. Newsom announces plan to pay rental housing providers 100 percent of rent owed

California State Governor Gavin Newsom
Sacramento, California / USA - May 31, 2020: California State Governor Gavin Newsom holds his head in though before a meeting.

Gov. Newsom announced his intent to pay rental housing providers 100 percent of rent that’s gone unpaid because of COVID-19.

“This is certainly welcome news, and we applaud Gov. Newsom for his commitment to making rental housing providers whole,” said Tom Bannon, chief executive officer of CAA. “Many of our members have provided housing for more than a year without compensation. We thank the governor for understanding the difficulties that both tenants and rental property owners have endured during the pandemic.”

In a press conference this morning, Newsom announced that California will receive an additional $2.6 billion in rental assistance from the federal government. That brings California’s total federal rental aid to $5.2 billion.

Newsom also announced his plan to spend $2 billion from the state general fund to pay past-owed water and utility bills.

The governor said he intends to use the new funds to pay rental housing providers all rental arrears attributable to the pandemic, both retroactively and going forward.

Until now, the governor and legislators committed to paying landlords 80% of what they were owed by COVID-19 impacted renters, although this has only covered back rent owed between April 2020 and March 2021.

Under prior legislation, owners have been required to forgive 20 percent of the rent owed to qualify for the assistance. Now, it appears owners will receive the 20 percent owed as well.

“CAA looks forward to working with the governor and legislature to make the assistance in today’s announcement a reality and distribute the additional funds as quickly as possible,” Bannon said. “It’s also vital that we find dollars to help COVID-19 impacted renters who do not qualify for aid under the current state rental assistance program.”