Here is what you need to know about getting help paying rent in California.

Question: I’m a renter and I need help. How do I know if I’m eligible?

Visit HousingIsKey.com to start a new application. You’ll find out if you are eligible for a local program near you, or the state program. If you’re a renter, someone in your house must meet the following for you to apply:

• Have been impacted by COVID-19

• Be income eligible (the state will calculate this for you when you apply)

• Have unpaid rent or utilities, or need help with future rent or utilities.

Question: I’m undocumented. Can I still get help with my rent?

Yes. Applicants may qualify for financial assistance regardless of immigration status and will not be required to show proof of citizenship. Your information will be kept private.

Question: Can I still apply for the program if my landlord won’t cooperate?

If your landlord chooses not to participate in the program, you may still be eligible to apply on your own and receive financial assistance for 100 percent of your unpaid rent or utilities dating back to April 1, 2020. To check your eligibility and apply, visit HousingisKey.com or call (833) 430-2122.

Question: I’m a landlord with tenants who are behind on rent payments; what are my options?

If you’re a property owner or landlord with one or more eligible renters who have unpaid rent accrued, you may be eligible to apply for financial assistance from the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program. The program covers 100 percent of unpaid rent and utilities. Applicants only need to provide contact information, proof of ownership and rent owed, as well as basic tenant contact information.

To check your eligibility and apply, visit HousingisKey.com or call (833) 430-2122.

(Gustavo F. Velasquez is director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development.)

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