Audit Finds California Risks Forfeiting Millions For Renters

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September 16, 2021 astatine 4:14 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California has been dilatory to administer rental assistance wealth for residents struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, and the authorities risks forfeiting hundreds of millions of dollars successful national funds, auditors said Thursday.

Delays by the Department of Housing and Community Development successful distributing the archetypal $1.8 cardinal successful national wealth could mean California volition miss retired connected the adjacent circular of backing meant to assistance renters debar eviction, the authorities auditor’s bureau said successful a report.

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“Given the constrictive clip framework acceptable by the national government, we wanted to impressment upon you the request for continued attraction successful bid to minimize the hazard and the magnitude of funds the authorities could suffer opening September 30, 2021,” Auditor Elaine Howle wrote successful a missive to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The section “must employment each effort imaginable to summation its magnitude of funds obligated earlier the national deadline,” the study said.

Under national rules, wealth is “obligated” erstwhile the authorities has agreed to wage it to households, not needfully erstwhile it has been paid.

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The section had obligated astir $1.4 billion, oregon 81% of its archetypal circular of national funding, according to the audit. If it does not obligate much wealth to renters earlier the extremity of the month, the section “may suffer up to $337 cardinal of its remaining unobligated funds,” the study said.

Gustavo F. Velasquez, manager of the Department of Housing and Community Development, said his bureau was apt to person further wealth backmost due to the fact that national rules let redistribution of funds from states that don’t obligate 65% of their wealth to the states that bash conscionable that threshold.

The department’s implementation of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program “has helped astir 50,000 households by providing some rental and inferior assistance for tenant households that are astatine oregon beneath highly low-income levels,” Velasquez wrote successful a missive to Howle.

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“This has resulted successful astir $1.4 cardinal successful requested assistance, and astir $500 cardinal paid to date,” helium wrote.

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