The program, called Housing Is Key, rolled out in March to provide financial relief to tenants who have fallen behind on rent due to pandemic-related job losses.
As of Monday, the program had assisted 4,074 households out of about 190,000 with nearly $36,737,000 in aid distributed, according to the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). More than half of the 190,000 applicants started their applications but then abandoned them without completing them, HCD officials said.
The state has received applications for $543 million in rent relief, which is a little more than a third of the $1.4 billion that’s available, officials from HCD said. Those figures don’t include $1.2 billion in rent relief that cities and counties are distributing through their own programs.
Jackie Lowery lives in Antioch with her extended family. Her husband, son and daughter-in-law all lost their jobs on the same day last March, right after the pandemic hit. Now they owe about $11,000 in back rent.
“It’s just really scary right now,” Lowery said. “My grandbabies — they’re 6 years old — they need a roof over their head. The whole family does. Everyone does.”