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California Legislators Weigh $25B COVID-19 Rental Relief Fund

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.

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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

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