United Way works to help struggling Inland Empire residents, landlords during COVID-19 pandemic

Residential neighborhoods in south Ontario, CA, built circa 1990s.(Photo by Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The pandemic-driven economic shutdown has led to a massive rent crisis in Southern California.  It has hit the Inland Empire particularly hard, with 30% of all tenants in the region behind on rent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Renters and landlords can tap into what’s left of a $33 million assistance fund provided by Riverside County Rental Relief program.   

The aid is being managed and distributed by Inland SoCal United Way.  Tenants who can prove they’ve suffered job or income loss due to the pandemic can qualify for up to $3,500 in rental aid. The funds go directly to a tenant’s landlord to help pay down rental debt. 

Kim Starrs, vice president of external affairs with Inland United Way, Riverside County says the organization has been inundated with calls.

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"Listening to families who are caregivers for seniors or people with disabilities, it’s difficult to hear folks struggling, but United Way has been a beacon light and hope for people.  That’s  what I’ve been able to hold on to we’ve been able to offer and extend a hand to folks needed it most."


• Tenants rights groups call for rent and mortgage payments to be canceled

• Rent is going down in Los Angeles due to pandemic

To apply simply call Inland SoCal United Way helpline at 211. The deadline to apply is December.

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