“I just feel like the state has let us down: they have let us down,” said Patricia Mendoza, who is still waiting for $9,000 in rent assistance from the state.
SAN DIEGO — Tens of thousands of California families who are unable to pay their rent because of COVID-19 could soon be evicted.
On Friday morning, the legal protection these tenants have, which essentially protects them from eviction proceedings, will officially expire.
In the meantime, thousands of these Californians are still waiting for millions of dollars in housing benefits promised by the state.
Those statewide eviction protections in place for tenants affected by the pandemic will expire Friday morning, although more than 80,000 households that have applied for emergency aid are still waiting for a response to their applications.
“I just feel like the state has let us down: they have let us down,” said Imperial Beach resident Patricia Mendoza, who is still waiting for $9,000 in state rental assistance.
The mother of two has already received an eviction case from her landlord.
“Honestly, my fear is through the roof,” she told CBS 8.
That fear she feels is not just for herself, but for other tenants in similar situations who become homeless while waiting for help promised by the state.
“I pray, I pray to God that they will do something for this program, that they will do something for our people, because this was meant to help people… not to have people like this,” she exclaimed.
According to the non-profit group PolicyLinkthere are currently 85,901 renter households that have applied for COVID rent assistance from the state and are still awaiting a response.
“It’s highly unlikely they’ll be able to process all of these applications by June 30, so that means people will wait in line and they’ll be evicted,” said Sarah Treuhaft, vice president of research. for Policy Link. “They are likely to be deported or have deportation proceedings pending against them.”
CBS 8 contacted the state to see if the current eviction moratorium to protect applicants for COVID rent reduction may be extended beyond June 30, but has not yet received a response.
Several nonprofit organizations dedicated to protecting tenants in California, including the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE)don’t shut up.
They have filed a lawsuit against the state to challenge more than 150,000 rent reduction denials, which is about one in three applicants.
“(This is) to challenge the practice of tenants not being given the reasons why they were rejected so they can appeal,” said Jackie Zaneri, ACCE senior attorney. “We see tenants being refused rent assistance for reasons we can’t figure out.”
Mendoza, who now works as a statewide organizer for ACCE, says she’s committed to giving tenants the help they need.
“I want to make sure this program does what it’s supposed to do,” Mendoza added, “and that’s to help people stay at home!”
(Patricia Mendoza of ACCE can be reached at [email protected])
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