California will pay off unpaid rent accrued during COVID-19 pandemic

According to a new report from Axios “California will pay off the accumulated unpaid rent that has piled up during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to the AP, the move would fulfill a promise to landlords to help them to break even, while giving renters relief.

In addition, per the report “Newsom and legislative leaders are meeting privately to decide what to do, part of the negotiations over the state’s roughly $260 billion operating budget. An extension of the eviction ban seems likely to give California more time to spend all the money to cover unpaid rent. But landlords and tenants’ rights groups are arguing over how long that extension should last.”

Kelli Lloyd, a 43-year-old single mother who says she has not worked consistently since the pandemic began in March 2020 said “The expectation for people to be up and at ’em and ready to pay rent on July 1 is wholeheartedly unfair.”

“Simply because the state has opened back up doesn’t mean people have access to their jobs,” she also said.

More from Axios:

The state has accrued $5.2 billion from various federal aid packages to pay off people’s rent, which should be enough to get the job done, Jason Elliott, senior counselor to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on housing and homelessness, told AP.

California has been slow to distribute the funds. The state has received $490 million in rental aid requests through May 31, but only $32 million has been paid out, when not including the 12 cities and 10 counties that run independent rental assistance programs, per AP.