If you have been financially affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for:
- Eviction protection for renters
- Help with rent and utilities for landlords and renters
- Mortgage forbearance for homeowners and landlords
- Golden State Stimulus payments
- Unemployment insurance
- Help with getting food
- Find help
Eviction protection for renters
If you cannot pay your full rent because of COVID-19, state law protects you from eviction until September 30, 2021. This applies to all residential tenants, regardless of immigration status.
To avoid eviction, you must:
- Give your landlord a signed declaration within 15 business days if you get a notice from your landlord demanding rent payment, and
- Pay 25% of all total rent due in the last 12 months (from September 2020 through September 2021) by September 30, 2021
Your landlord can take you to small claims court for unpaid rent beginning November 1, 2021.
Find more information about protection from eviction for unpaid rent due to COVID-19 in the:
- Fact sheet on tenant protection
- Tenant protection guidelines
- Frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act
Get legal help for free or at low-cost from statewide and local organizations.
Contact a local agency to get free rental counseling.
Help with rent and utilities for landlords and renters
Qualified renters and landlords can get financial help to cover 100% of:
- Past due and future rent payments
- Past due and future utility bills
You can apply as a renter or a landlord, and both are encouraged to work together.Apply online for California COVID-19 rent relief
To get help with your application, call the California COVID-19 Rent Relief Contact Center at 833‑430‑2122. The contact center is open 7 days a week, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Pacific Time.
Your immigration status does not matter. You are not required to show proof of citizenship to apply.
Your landlord will be notified that you have applied for rent relief. Your landlord will not see your application. Your information is private and will not be shared.
Your application will be assigned to a case manager. Watch for emails or phone calls from your case manager about your application. Be sure to respond so your application keeps moving.
Where payments are sent
If your application gets approved, rent payments go to:
- Your landlord if your landlord is participating in the rent relief program
- You if your landlord does not participate in the program
Utility payments go directly to the utility provider.
Mortgage forbearance for homeowners and landlords
Most homeowners can pause or reduce their mortgage payments for a limited time if they’re struggling because of COVID-19. This is called forbearance. You request forbearance from your mortgage servicer. Landlords with four properties or less can also request forbearance.
Learn the steps to pause or reduce your mortgage payments at Help for homeowners.
Your deadline to request forbearance depends on who backs your mortgage.
- If your loan is backed by HUD/FHA, USDA, or VA, the deadline for requesting an initial forbearance is September 30, 2021.
- If your loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, there currently is not a deadline for requesting an initial forbearance.
If your mortgage is not federally backed, your servicer may offer similar forbearance options. If you are struggling to make your mortgage payments, your servicer must discuss relief options with you.
Your rights if you’re denied forbearance
If your servicer denies your request for forbearance, they must provide you with:
- A detailed description explaining why your request was denied, and
- The specific reasons for the denial
This is true for all mortgages, whether federally-backed or not.
If the explanation says your request has errors or is missing information, you have 21 days to correct these issues.
If you requested forbearance, your lender cannot begin foreclosing on your home or property until they:
- Contact you to request payment
- Wait at least 30 days after contacting you to request payment
- File a declaration that they have contacted you to request payment
- File the forbearance denial notice
You can contest either the 30-day contact or the forbearance denial notice.
If you believe your lender harmed you by violating the law, you can file a lawsuit against them. You can get free or low-cost legal help from statewide and local organizations.
Find more information:
Contact a local agency to get free help to avoid foreclosure.
Golden State Stimulus payments
Households earning $75,000 or less may qualify for at least one type of Golden State Stimulus (GSS) payment. This includes undocumented workers. Families with children may receive an increased payment.
There are two types of GSS payments, GSS I and GSS II.
Deadline to qualify
You must file your 2020 tax return by October 15, 2021.
Your 2020 tax return determines if you’re eligible to receive GSS payments.
If you qualify, you’ll receive your payments by direct deposit or a check in the mail.
If you’ve already filed your 2020 tax return, you do not have to do anything else.Check if you qualify for GSS I Check if you qualify for GSS II
If you lost your job or had your hours reduced, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
Help with getting food
If you or someone you know needs help getting or affording food, visit Food resources.