May 12, 2020
California lawmakers are working on a pair of proposals designed to help stem the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic for renters. One idea is a $25-billion economic relief fund to assist renters fighting to make rent payments. The program would be funded by issuing long-term vouchers to those willing to prepay future state income taxes.
The other proposal is a renter-assistance program. Landlords would be asked to forgive rent payments in exchange for tax credits spread out over a 10-year period starting in 2024. The tax credits would be transferable, so the property owner could sell them to an outside investor. In some cases where financial hardship is proven by renters, the total amount could be forgiven.
Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) told the Los Angeles Times, “We need some short-term assistance. But we’ve got to be thinking long-term on how to do this in a very strategic way.”
California Apartment Association’s Tom Bannon says, “During these unprecedented times, we appreciate the Senate Pro Tem’s creative effort to help tenants and rental property owners. The California Apartment Association is committed to working with the Senate to refine this voluntary program to ensure tenants can stay in their homes and rental property owners – especially mom and pop owners – are able to continue to pay their bills and their employees.”
The proposals by Senate Democrats are scheduled to be formally unveiled this morning in Sacramento.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser