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Long Beach is reopening its rental assistance program after it received another $13.1 million from the state, however its previous $51 million in funds has been slow to get to tenants and landlords with the city having allocated just over $12 million to date.

The new funding brings the city’s total renter relief funds to just over $64 million, which can now be used to pay up to 100% of unpaid rents incurred by tenants since April 2020.

The city said that the program has helped 1,690 landlords and utility providers recoup missed payments to date. However there is still a pool of over 13,000 applicants leftover from the previous application round that ended July 11 that have not been approved for aid.

The city said it would work with its vendor to reach out to those with incomplete applications to submit the required forms.

“With this new funding, we strongly encourage all those who may be eligible for assistance to apply for this program,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in the release.

“We know that many of our residents who have been financially impacted by the pandemic still need help. It’s very important that we get folks the rental support they need.”

The city still has over $52 million to spend on rental assistance, money that could be reallocated by the U.S. Treasury beginning in the fall, according to a treasury spokesperson. However, the city has maintained that there will be no leftover money at the end of the program.

A city spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.

July 11 was the original cutoff date for the city’s rent assistance program, which at the time had allocated or approved about $5 million for distribution to applicants.

The program is available to residents of Long Beach making 80% of the area median income or less, with those making 50% of area median income being prioritized first. The city defined 80% as $90,100 for a family of four or $56,300 for those at 50% of the area median income.

Applicants need to show proof of income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as rental agreements, proof of income and proof of housing instability, like a pending eviction notice.

The program has been criticized by groups representing landlords who say there are too many strings attached for the process to get a meaningful amount of money out to landlords who haven’t been paid rent in over 15 months in some cases.

The groups have said that the income limits, which were set by the federal government, are likely to lead to mass evictions once existing moratoriums end.

Both state officials and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors extended eviction moratoriums for residents who are behind on their rents until the end of September.

An amendment to the county’s extension requires proof of tenants showing a good faith effort to apply for rental relief funds.

During the June meeting when they extended the moratorium, LA County Supervisors said it would likely be the last extension.

Residents looking to apply for rental assistance can apply through the city’s website.

With time running out, Long Beach’s rent-relief funds are trickling out to tenants, landlords

Supervisors extend eviction moratorium through September but could require tenants to prove hardship, apply for rent assistance



Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.