LANCASTER – The city of Lancaster will roll out its Emergency Rental Assistance Grant program next week for Lancaster tenants who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, city officials announced Friday.
Funded through Community Development Block Grant – COVID funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the program was made possible as a result of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). The program will offer rental assistance up to $5,000 per household, with hopes of assisting up to 100 local residential households. Grants can be used to pay rental arrears or current/future rent.
“We know that potential eviction is a looming reality for many renters due to the pandemic. This grant is aimed to keep tenants and their families housed and healthy,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “While we know the need is greater than the resources, we hope that by helping individual households, there is a domino effect that will be felt throughout the community.”
To apply, beginning Aug. 3, call 2-1-1, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or visit www.211LA.org until signups close at 5 p.m. Aug. 10.
Tenants must sign up by completing the pre-screening application online (www.211LA.org) or by phone through L.A. County’s 211 system. Due to the high volume of applicants anticipated, qualified grant recipients will be randomly selected via a lottery system and then notified for next steps.
The selected tenants and their landlords must provide required documentation, fill out full applications, and agree to the terms of the grant program. Finally, once the paperwork has been successfully completed by the deadline provided, rental assistance will be paid directly to the tenant’s landlord/property manager on the tenant’s behalf.
Tenants may be eligible to apply if they were current on their rent as of March 1; have an active rental/lease agreement in their name; reside within Lancaster city limits; and can demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19.
The household cannot be receiving other government housing assistance, and the total household income must be at or below the area’s median income level. Contacting 211 will help applicants determine whether or not they meet these criteria.
Tenants may only apply once per household. Landlords and property owners are encouraged to share this information with tenants.
For more information, contact the city of Lancaster at 661-723-6211 or email COLRentAssist@cityoflancasterca.org.
[Information via news release from the city of Lancaster.]