California says changes ahead for rental relief program

San Jose Mercury News - After widespread criticism from tenants and landlords, state officials said Thursday they plan to streamline applications and step-up outreach efforts to more quickly deliver $2.6 billion in emergency rental assistance.

Despite nearly 200,000 applications requesting $543 million to cover unpaid rent, just $40 million has been distributed across California, according to state data. Advocacy groups continued to sound alarms, saying the state needs to accelerate the distribution of relief checks or risk a wave of evictions when a state moratorium expires June 30.

“I’m worried about eviction. All day, every day,” said renter Patricia Mendoza, a member of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. “The vast majority of tenants and landlords have not received rent relief.”

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