The United Lift Rental Assistance program will be ending its online application portal on July 29.
United Lift has been a collaborative effort, over the past two years, between Riverside County, Inland SoCal United Way, and Lift To Rise, to support Riverside County families and residents financially impacted by COVID-19 through direct rental and utility assistance.
By the end of 2022, the program will have disbursed more than $250 million countywide and helped 25,000 households, representing 100,000 local residents. Program officials said it is one of the most effective rental assistance efforts in the country.
Riverside County residents are still able to apply through the online application before July 29. Rental assistance funds, which are provided by various federal and local sources, will still be disbursed through the end of 2022, while funding lasts.
“We want to thank all of the partners, community members, and dedicated staff who united to make rental assistance a huge success in Riverside County,” said Michael Walsh, Deputy Director at Riverside County Housing and Workforce Solutions. “When we started this effort in the midst of the pandemic’s economic crisis, we did so with the goal of reaching everyone in the county in need of a lift to stay housed. Never did we imagine it would culminate in a program of unprecedented local scale to support 100,000 of our neighbors.”
Program officials said there is still a high volume of people in need of rental assistance, even as the local economy begins to recover from the pandemic. They said there is a need to focus on longer-term affordable housing issues in the region.
“While the rental assistance program will be coming to a close soon, our long-term work in the region to address housing affordability and stability remains strong,” said Lift to Rise President and CEO Heather Vaikona. “Many of the people and partners who united to make rental assistance possible are now part of our work to plan, fund and produce the affordable housing we need to make our communities places where everyone has sustainable opportunity and can thrive long term.”
United Lift will re-launch as a collaborative eviction protection effort to reduce evictions and keep residents housed. The re-launch will happen in the fall of 2022.
“We are 100 percent committed to keeping people housed in Riverside County,” said Heidi Marshall, Riverside County Housing Director. “The same vision and partnership that made rental assistance such a resounding success will be critical to our shared goals of reducing evictions in the short term and adding to the supply of affordable housing for the long term.”