As you are aware, rental housing providers are able or will soon be able to tap into a pool of funds to recoup a mountain of rent debt that has accrued during the pandemic.
Our practice has been dedicated to reducing complex laws into easily digestible “cheat sheets” and continuing that spirit, we've recently published a PDF that summarizes the process of accessing rental relief dollars.
Phase 1 was launched on March 17 and has prioritized rental assistance for tenant households earning less than 30% of the Area Median Income. Tenants in subsidized affordable housing units are also given priority. The good news for “mom and pop” landlords in Alameda County is that property owners who own 5 units or less are also in the front in line to receive funds.
Phase 2 is aimed to distribute funds to cover the missed rent of tenants deemed to be in better financial health. In other words, the program will be triaged with those most in need getting help first.
But we are not done with Alameda County yet. To add to the mayhem, Oakland and Fremont will have their own regulatory regime.
Venturing a bit outwards, landlords in the city and county of Sacramento, Marin County, and Sonoma County also have their own protocols.
Although San Francisco will roll out its own program that will prioritize low-income tenants, we encourage landlords who own property in the city to apply through the state’s interactive website. Whereas owners and tenants in Alameda County cannot apply for rental assistance through the state's website, San Francisco applicants can.
March is National Women's History Month. Elizabeth Blackwell, once said that "I do not wish to give women a first place, still less a second one - but the complete freedom to take their true place, whatever it may be." Some notable women who have shaped our laws are profiled here.
We are confident we are almost over the hump. Never in our careers have we been tasked with solving so many puzzle pieces in a patchwork of local rules, but we are strapped in and ready to get to work.
Please remain safe and certainly call upon us if you need any guidance in managing landlord-tenant, buyer, or seller relationships.