BELL GARDENS, Calif. -- At a news conference in Los Angeles County on Wednesday morning, Gov. Gavin Newsom touted what he described as the nation's largest rent-relief program, part of California's $100-billion economic recovery package.
Dubbed the California Comeback Plan, the package includes $5.2 billion to help low-income residents cover 100% of their back-rent and "rent for several months into the future," according to the governor's office.
Newsom opened Wednesday's event, held at an indoor venue at a Bell Gardens park, by asking two renters who had been helped by the program to share their experiences.
"It's one thing to intellectualize this, one thing to talk about this program in the aggregate, but behind me each and every person that's filling out an application, behind me is a real story of people impacted by this pandemic over the last 15 months," the governor said as renters seeking assistance filled out paperwork at nearby tables.
Eligible California residents will be allowed to apply for the relief program for as long as the $5.2-billion fund lasts. Newsom urged anyone in need to apply as soon as possible.
Thousands of applications have already been received. Renters and landlords typically receive the funds about 30 days after applying.
"If we see mass evictions, we will have seen something we've never experienced in our lifetime -- and that's a number of people on the streets and sidewalks that will overwhelm," Newsom said. "That's why this program is so important."
The state's eviction moratorium is set to expire on Sept. 30, and the governor said it was extremely doubtful that it would be again extended.
Newsom's remarks came the day after he unveiled details of the recovery plan at a news conference in the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Angeles.
To find out whether you qualify for California's rent-relief program, visit housingiskey.com.