Housing Counselors share resources to keep you in your home

Housing Counselors share resources to keep you in your home

Vidya Sethuraman
India Post News Service

COVID-19 and the related economic disruption have made an already difficult housing situation for millions of California families even harder. Many Californians have already lost their homes, and these losses have disproportionately impacted low-wage earners who are often Black, indigenous and people of color. Free housing counseling is available across the state for renters and owners who are worried about losing their homes, as well as for small landlords. Panelists at the EMS Briefing on March 17 discussed some of these options, in addition to current foreclosures and eviction protections that may be available.

Eric Johnson, Information Officer, Marketing and Communications Division, California Housing Finance Agency said California home prices have risen sharply in the two years since the outbreak, and many people’s home buying plans have failed, further increasing the pressure on the rental market, and rents have risen sharply.  He said that a considerable proportion of tenants facing difficulties are people of color who need help the most.  Johnson noted that the public should take advantage of information from the CA Housing Finance Agency, which currently has 277 housing grant application consultants helping renters, landlords, small business owners and first-time homebuyers.

Linda Jackson, Executive Director, Inland Empire Resource Center said those who owe unpaid rent and utility bills in need of rental assistance from April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2022 can visit housing.ca.gov. For eligibility and application assistance, call the Pandemic Rent Relief Help Center at 833-430-2122. Income-eligible applicants may be eligible regardless of immigration status and do not need to show proof of citizenship. Residents facing eviction can contact www.stayhousedla.org.

Contact the Housing and Tenant Protection Team of the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs at 833-223-RENT (7368), or visit rent.lacounty.gov.