What to Know About California's Renters' Protection Deadline

Eligible renters must apply for relief by March 31 even as state lawmakers extend the COVID-related protections for three more months

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The COVID-19 pandemic delivered a major blow to people who fell behind on their rent, and some are now at risk of losing their housing even as a state moratorium on evictions was extended three more months.

For renters and landlords, Thursday is the last day to apply for federal relief funds even though California lawmakers passed an extension on the temporary eviction ban. Tenants behind on rent who have not applied for the aid by March 31 will be at risk of eviction.

How to apply for relief

The statewide eviction moratorium has been extended a few times, but renters will only be protected if they apply by Thursday, March 31 on the state website.

The online form determines eligibility then walks the applicant through the steps.

Who is eligible?

Households that make 80% or below of the average median income are eligible. That would be nearly $118,000 for a family of four in Santa Clara County.

The assistance can cover some or all of the rent and can even help with utilities.

Those who are unemployed also can apply, as can landlords whose tenants are unable to pay rent.

How long does the protection last?

For now, any eviction proceeding must be paused if people have applied for assistance, thus the importance of Thursday's deadline. The state's approval and payment processes have lagged, so many who have applied for aid are still waiting for funds. But they won’t be evicted if they apply by Thursday, even after the moratorium expires in three months.

What's next?

For tenants behind on their rent who have not applied for assistance, eviction proceedings could begin as early as Friday.

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