In June 2022, ACCE and SAJE, and PolicyLink, filed a lawsuit against California’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for administering ERAP in an opaque and discriminatory way and for refusing to provide adequate explanation to tenants who were denied assistance. In July 2022, a judge agreed that the denial notices HCD sent out are too vague, that applicants have no meaningful way to appeal, and that HCD indefensibly refused to tell applicants which of their documents led to denial. The court then ordered HCD not to deny any pending rental assistance applications as of July 2022 until the court can determine if HCD’s process meets constitutional due process standards. Western Center on Law & Poverty, Public Counsel, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and Covington & Burling represent the Petitioners.
As of January 19, 2023, HCD has not provided the Court with a notice that meets due process standards. Currently, HCD is still not allowed to deny any pending applications that do not meet due process. However, nothing is stopping HCD from continuing to process applications, approve applications, or issue payments to approved applicants. We urge you to continue contacting HCD if you were approved but have not yet received payment, or if your application has been pending since 2021. If you need legal assistance, you can find legal resources in your area at LawHelpCA.org. You can also reach out to your state representatives to tell them your story and how HCD is holding up much needed emergency assistance to vulnerable Californians.