$100 Million Milestone Reached in Rental Assistance Program
December 15, 2021
A multi-partner effort in Riverside County to keep renters housed amid the pandemic has disbursed more than $105 million rental assistance payments since June of 2020.
These funds have helped over 14,000 families in the county stay housed. As of October 2021, the average rental and utility assistance applicants received $9,318.
United Lift is a joint effort by Lift to Rise, Inland SoCal 211+ (a subsidiary of Inland SoCal United Way), and the County of Riverside that’s been funded by federal allocations for rental assistance plus other local contributions.
Eligible applicants can receive rental assistance for up to 12 months of unpaid rent from March 13, 2020 until the time of application, plus an additional three months of future rent payments. Assistance with past-due utility bills is also available.
The United Lift teams have conducted extensive outreach through community networks and partnerships to spread the word to eligible applicants and help them complete their applications, including pop-up application events at community resource events and rental complexes.
The bilingual website UnitedLift.org, where people can apply online, has doubled in web traffic since the spring, indicating demand for the resource of rental assistance and growing awareness of the program. Additionally, residents can access application assistance 24/7 by dialing 211.
“This is a significant milestone to reach,” said Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Karen Spiegel, District 2 Supervisor. “Our success in delivering these funds to the community can be attributed to two factors. One, is our strong partnership with Untied Way and the Lift to Rise which demonstrates the benefits of public-private partnerships in the social service sector. The second factor is the Board’s early commitment to assisting struggling renters.”
Riverside County launched the United Lift rental assistance program in June 2020 utilizing CARES funding which allowed us to build the program capacity to deliver additional funding provided by Congress.
With nearly 2.5 million residents, Riverside County is the 10th-largest county in the United States.
Jay Held, a Corona resident, received funding this year through United Lift. He called the program “a lifesaver”
“I've been more than satisfied with the program, in fact, it's been a lifesaver. Every one of the staff members have been exceptionally professional, kind, heartfelt, and have kept me updated throughout the process,” Held said. “My coordinators, and the whole program, are just exceptional in the way that they treat people in need.”
Eligibility is limited to renters in Riverside County with a current lease agreement who are earning 80 percent or below of the area’s median income and can document a loss of income due to COVID-19 economic impacts. Assistance is provided without regard to immigration status.
Residents who are interested in learning more about the program should visit UnitedLift.org or call 211.
Renters with questions who live in eastern Riverside County with questions or who want to set up an appointment to apply in person can call 760-205-1096 to speak with the Lift to Rise team. Residents in Western and Southwestern Riverside County can dial 2-1-1, extension 5 to speak to the Inland SoCal 211+ team.