United Lift, a rental assistance program coordinated between Riverside County, United Way of the Inland Valleys, and Lift To Rise, is launching this week with the goal of keeping 10,000 families and residents housed.
The program for Riverside County residents will provide $33 million in rental assistance between the months of June and November. Lift to Rise and United Way of Inland Valleys will administer the program, including dispersing the first round of payments in July.
“Riverside County, a place already facing significant economic insecurity and rent burden, is now severely impacted by the near collapse of the region’s tourism and entertainment economy, said Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “The ability of our region to come together like this and keep people in their houses reflects the values and spirit that remain so strong here despite our challenges.”
Residents may apply at UnitedLift.org or by calling 2-1-1. The application portal will be live and available in English and Spanish beginning June 15. The first application window will be open for 10 days and close on June 25. Following the initial window, applications will be open every month for a period of 10 days.
“We are grateful to be trusted as stewards of vital resources and eager to continue our work to ensure that Riverside County residents affected by COVID-19 and its subsequent economic impact have the support they need to lead healthy and stable lives,” said Lisa Wright, President and CEO of United Way of the Inland Valleys.
Eligibility is limited to renters in Riverside County with a current lease agreement who are either individuals or families earning 80 percent or below of the area’s median income, or who can document a loss of income due to COVID-19 economic impacts, leaving them unable to make their rent.
Households meeting the initial eligibility requirements, will be selected by a random selection system and will be required to provide documentation showing their economic hardship. Payments will be made directly to landlords. Households not selected for rental assistance may re-apply in subsequent application windows. Rental assistance is intended to cover past due rent from March to November 2020, up to $3,500 per household.
“An unprecedented collaboration of community organizations pushed for a difference-making level of rental assistance and were critical in making it happen. We are thankful the Board of Supervisors recognize the importance of investing in the resiliency of families today and in the future because we know housing insecurity and rent burden are the top challenges that hold our communities back,” said Heather Vaikona, President and CEO of Lift to Rise.
Lift To Rise will outreach to households in the east end of Riverside County including all Coachella Valley cities and unincorporated communities, Blythe, Banning, and Beaumont. United Way of the Inland Valleys will cover the remaining west and southwestern portions of Riverside County. The two organizations are coordinating efforts to create a clear and streamlined process for residents to access needed rental assistance. United Lift will report data from the rental assistance program to contribute to the understanding of how rent burden impacts communities in Riverside County.
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