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San Diego tenants having problems with rental assistance payments being accepted

Reports have surfaced county-wide of landlords either not accepting grant payments or not doing their part to ensure their tenant even qualifies.

SAN DIEGO — During this pandemic, thousands of San Diego County families have received rental assistance through emergency grants.

But, some tenants have reported issues when it comes to getting their landlord to accept those payments.

“This is a challenge I never expected.” Like many people, Emani has struggled during this pandemic.

The Scripps nurse is currently on leave in part to care for her two-year-old daughter which left her without a steady paycheck to make rent.

Thankfully, she qualified for an emergency rental assistance grant through the county.

"I was relieved. I actually got sleep that night."

Emani was meticulous, submitting all the proper paperwork to her management company. The problem-they failed to provide the information needed to make sure the grant went through.

She tells News 8, “They're refusing to assist the county worker.”

Emani’s case isn't isolated. Similar reports have surfaced county-wide of landlords either not accepting grant payments or not doing their part to ensure their tenant even qualifies.

Nancy Maldonado is CEO of the Chicano Federation. “The landlords had to actually create a login and complete part of the application and we saw time and time again that landlords were not participating.”

When asked why landlords are acting this way, she says there are several reasons.

“Some landlords have decided this is a way for them to perhaps get rid of some of the tenants they don't want living in their buildings. There were a few families who told us they felt it was because they were families of color, and there were also families that said they were being discriminated against because their landlords felt if they needed assistance, then they shouldn't be there because they were probably going to have issues paying rent in the future.”

In Emani's case, her situation was eventually resolved, but it took nearly a month, along with lots of calls and emails.

“I don’t feel anybody should have to you know knock on the door that hard in order to get some help.”

Unfortunately, there are others still battling. Both Emani and Nancy advise-keep going.

And if your own tenacity doesn't work, contact organizations like the Chicano Federation for help.

A GoFundMe has been set up for Emani.