Rent Control & Tenant Protection Measures

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Permanent Rent Control and Tenant Protections

The City Council adopted a permanent Rent Control Ordinance(PDF, 9MB) and a permanent Tenant Protections Ordinance(PDF, 10MB) at its meeting on September 29, 2020.  The permanent ordinances went into effect on October 30, 2020. Watch this short video and read through this webpage to learn what rent control means to Culver City tenants and landlords.

If tenants have questions about their rights or are concerned that their rights may be violated, they should contact the Culver City Housing Department by email at Rent.Control@CulverCity.org, via phone (310) 253-5790 or by visiting the Department Office on the second floor of City Hall at 9770 Culver Boulevard

Rent Control & Tenant Protections Summary

Rent Control

Maximum Permissible Annual Rent Increase

  • Landlords may not impose more than one Rent increase for a Covered Rental Unit in any twelve-month (12- month) period.
  • The maximum permissible annual rent increase is based on the average annual change in the consumer price index (“CPI change”).
  • If CPI change is less than 2%, maximum allowable annual rent increase is 2%.
  • If CPI change is more than 5%, maximum allowable annual rent increase is 5%.
  • A Landlord may impose a Rent increase that takes effect sooner than twelve (12) months following the date of the latest permitted Rent increase under the Interim Rent Control Ordinance, but the prior increase under Interim Rent Control Ordinance in combination with a rent increase under permanent ordinance may not exceed the maximum allowable annual rent increase under the permanent ordinance.

Exemptions to Rent Control

  • Dwelling units expressly exempt from rent control per state or federal law.
  • Dwelling units occupied after February 1, 1995.
  • Single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes.
  • Subdivided interest in a subdivision.
  • Government subsidized dwelling units.

Landlords May Re-establish Rents at Market Rates When:

  • Tenant voluntarily vacates, with certain limitations.
  • Tenant is evicted based on “for cause” grounds.
  • Tenant is evicted based on “no fault” grounds, with the following limitation: if vacated for landlord’s relative to move-in, the unit must remain relative’s primary residence for three years.

Landlords May Not Set Rents to Market Rates When:

  • Tenant vacates due to landlord harassment.
  • Tenant is evicted before the end of their first year (12-month “vesting” period).
  • Tenant voluntarily vacates pursuant to a tenant buyout agreement due to untenantable (uninhabitable) conditions (such as major renovation). 

 Rent Adjustments Exceeding Maximum Allowable Increase

  • The City will establish a process for a landlord to request a rent adjustment if they can demonstrate the limitations on rent increases will prevent the Landlord from receiving a fair and reasonable return with respect to the operation of the property. 

Capital Improvement Pass-Through Program

  • 50% of the cost of eligible capital improvement projects may be passed-through to tenants, amortized over the useful life of the improvement, with an aggregate cap of the pass through costs not to exceed 3% of tenant’s rent.
  • Eligible capital improvement projects include the addition of new capital improvements, but not the renovations or replacement of existing capital improvements.

Rent Registry

  • All rental units must be registered with the City.
  • Registration must be updated annually, upon a new tenancy, and when there are changes in housing services for the unit.
  • Landlords must post the Rent Control Ordinance Notice in a conspicuous location in the common area, at the entry or entries to the building or units, or other similar location or locations as necessary to provide tenants a reasonable opportunity to view the notice.

     


Tenant Protections

Eviction Protections

  • Evictions must be based on “for cause” or “no fault” grounds.
  • “For cause” includes failure to pay rent; breach of rental agreement; failure to provide reasonable access to unit; tenant’s use of unit to create a nuisance or for an illegal purpose; tenant was the resident manager who has been terminated.
  • “No fault” includes recovery of unit in order to: demolish; remove from rental market; move-in landlord or landlord’s relative, provided they must continue to occupy property for at least 3 years; comply with deed or regulatory restriction; comply with government or other order necessitating the vacancy.
  • Tenants protected from eviction include: long-term tenants who are 62 years old or disabled; terminally ill tenants; low-income tenants; tenants with school-aged children protected during the school year.

Exemptions from Eviction Protections

  • Eviction protections do not apply within the first 12 months of tenancy (12-month “vesting” period).
  • Eviction protections do not apply to units that lack their own bathroom or kitchen facility.

Relocation Assistance

  • Three times the greater of current rent in effect or market rent, plus $1000.
  • Landlord may deduct past due rent, with the exception of back rent accrued during City’s Residential Tenant Eviction Moratorium period, as well as amounts to cover extraordinary wear and tear.
  • “Small Landlords” (defined as those owning 3 units or less within and outside of Culver City) shall only pay 50% of the amount of relocation assistance otherwise due.

Exemptions from the Payment of Relocation Assistance

  • Tenant was on notice prior to entering rental agreement that application to subdivide property or convert the building for a condominium, stock cooperative or community apartment project was on filed or approved by the City.
  • Landlord’s recover of the unit and eviction of tenant was in compliance with government or court order to vacate due to natural disaster or act of God conditions.

Harassment & Uninhabitable Conditions

Uninhabitable Conditions

Landlords are obligated to take steps to make units safe for their tenants during some types of construction. Tenants are protected if faced with temporary uninhabitable conditions, which can happen with projects requiring: 

  • Substantial rehabilitation, such as replacing or significantly modifying structural, electrical, plumbing or mechanical systems, as well as removing hazardous materials, such as lead-based paint, mold or asbestos;
  • Fumigation; or
  • The need to meet State or City housing, health, building or safety laws. 

Improvements, such as painting, decorating, minor repairs or other work that can be done safely and without the need for vacating do not fall into this category.

If a tenant is faced with uninhabitable conditions, the landlord must provide temporary relocation or comparable living arrangements, or may provide a per diem payment if agreed to by the tenant. If work is anticipated to last more than 30 days, tenants may voluntarily terminate their lease and start negotiating a buyout agreement with their landlord. If work continues beyond 30 days of the projected completion date, tenants may renew their option to voluntarily terminate their tenancy and enter into a buyout agreement. Regardless, landlords must provide 30 days’ notice prior to construction with a shorter period for emergencies. 

Retaliatory Eviction

  • If the primary intent of the landlord in terminating a tenancy or refusing to renew a tenancy is retaliatory in nature, and if the tenant is not in default as to the payment of rent, then the landlord may not terminate the tenancy or refuse to renew the tenancy or otherwise cause the tenant to vacate the rental unit.
  • Retaliation against a tenant because of the tenant's exercise of rights under this subchapter is prohibited. In an action to recover possession of the rental unit, proof of the exercise by the tenant of rights under this subchapter or other applicable law within six months prior to the alleged act of retaliation shall create a rebuttable presumption that the landlord's act was retaliatory.
  • Retaliation claims may be raised as a defense in an unlawful detainer action or may be raised in other appropriate judicial proceedings and the court may consider the protections afforded by this subchapter in evaluating a claim of retaliation. Landlords shall not be subject to the city's enforcement of this § 15.09.340.A under § 15.09.345

Anti-Harassment

Tenants are protected by anti-harassment laws. No landlord, agent, contractor, subcontractor or employee of the landlord can violate the tenant protections in California’s Civil Code, California's Fair Employment and Housing Act, the federal Fair Housing Act or similar state and federal laws.

Harassment may include acts that disturbs a tenant’s comfort, rest, peace or quiet. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Acting in bad faith, interrupt, terminate, or fail to provide housing services required by the rental agreement or by federal, State, county, or local housing, health, or safety laws;
  • Acting in bad faith, fail to perform repairs and maintenance required by the rental agreement or by federal, State, county or local housing, health, or safety laws;
  • Acting in bad faith, fail to exercise due diligence in completing repairs and maintenance once undertaken or fail to follow appropriate industry standards or protocols designed to minimize exposure to noise, dust, lead, paint, mold, asbestos, or other building materials with potentially harmful health impacts;
  • Abuse the landlord's right of access into a rental unit as established and restricted by State law. This includes, but is not limited to: entries for inspections that are not related to necessary repairs or services; entries that are unreasonable in frequency or duration; entries that improperly target individual occupants or are used to collect evidence against an occupant or are otherwise beyond the scope of a lawful entry;
  • Repeatedly mistreat an occupant of the rental unit during in-person conversations, through social media postings or messages, or other communications, with language that a reasonable person would consider likely to cause fear or provoke violence;
  • Influence or attempt to influence a tenant to vacate a rental unit through fraud, intimidation or coercion, which shall include but is not limited to threatening to report a tenant to the United States Department of Homeland Security;
  • Threaten an occupant of the rental unit, by word or gesture, with physical harm;
  • Knowingly and intentionally violate any law which prohibits discrimination against the tenant based on race, gender, sexual preference, sexual orientation, ethnic background, nationality, religion, age, parenthood, marriage, pregnancy, disability, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), occupancy by a minor child, or source of income;
  • Make a sexual demand on a tenant in order for the tenant to obtain needed maintenance on the rental unit, or to obtain a rent concession or additional housing services, or to avoid an eviction, or make other quid pro quo sexual demands on a tenant; subject a tenant to severe or pervasive unwelcome touching, kissing, or groping; make severe or pervasive unwelcome, lewd comments about a tenant's body; send a tenant severe or pervasive unwelcome, sexually suggestive texts or enter the rental unit without invitation or permission; or engage in other actions that create a hostile environment;
  • Take action to terminate any tenancy, including serving any notice of termination or bringing any action to recover possession of a rental unit, based upon facts which the landlord has no reasonable cause to believe to be true or upon a legal theory which the landlord knows is uninhabitable under the facts known to the landlord. No landlord shall be liable under this § 15.09.340.B.10 for bringing an action to recover possession unless and until the tenant has obtained a favorable termination of that action;
  • Remove from the rental unit personal property, furnishings, or any other items without the prior written consent of the tenant, except pursuant to enforcement of a legal termination of tenancy;
  • Offer payments to a tenant to vacate, including the offer of a buyout agreement under § 15.09.335, more frequently than once every six months, after the tenant has notified the landlord in writing that the tenant does not desire to receive further offers of payments to vacate;
  • Attempt to coerce a tenant to vacate with offers of payment to vacate, including offers of a buyout agreement under § 15.09.335, which are accompanied with threats or intimidation. This shall not include settlement offers made in good faith and not accompanied with threats or intimidation in pending unlawful detainer actions;
  • Refuse to acknowledge receipt of a tenant's rent payment made during the term of the tenancy and in accordance with the rental agreement;
  • Refuse to cash a rent check for over 30 days when the check is given to cover rent during the term of the tenancy and in accordance with the rental agreement;
  • Request information that violates a tenant's right to privacy including, but not limited to, residency or citizenship status, protected class status, or social security number, except as required by law or, in the case of a social security number, for the purpose of determining the tenant's qualifications for a tenancy; or release any such information that is in landlord's possession, except as required or authorized by law;
  • Violate a tenant's right to privacy in the rental unit, including but not limited to, entering, photographing, or video recording portions of a rental unit that are beyond the scope of an authorized entry or inspection;
  • Interfere with a tenant's right to quiet use and enjoyment of a rental unit as that right is defined by State law;
  • Other acts or omissions that cause, are likely to cause, or are intended to cause any person lawfully entitled to occupancy of a rental unit to vacate such rental unit or to surrender or waive any rights in relation to such occupancy; or
  • Interfere with the right of tenant to:
  • Organize as tenants and engage in concerted activities with other tenants for the purpose of mutual aid and protection;
  • Provide access to tenant organizers, advocates, or representatives working with or on behalf of tenants living at the property;
  • Convene tenant or tenant organization meetings in an appropriate space accessible to tenants under the terms of their rental agreement; or
  • Distribute and post literature in common areas, including lobby areas and bulletin boards, informing other tenants of their rights and of opportunities to participate in organized tenant activities.

If tenants have questions about their rights or are concerned that their rights may be violated, they should contact the Culver City Housing Department by email at Rent.Control@CulverCity.org, via phone (310) 253-5790 or by visiting the Department Office on the second floor of City Hall at 9770 Culver Boulevard.

Rental Unit Registration & Fees

Register, re-register, and pay fees using the City's Rental Unit Registration Portal.

Rental Unit Registration Portal

New Residential Rental Unit Fees

At its May 24, 2021 meeting, the City Council approved an annual registration fee of $167 per residential rental unit, as well as fees for late payment, failure to register, and change in rental property ownership.

Landlord Registration Deadline

Landlords had until July 31, 2022 to re-register their units and pay the rental registration fee. August 1, 2022 was considered the first late day for payment or registration. 

 

Register, re-register, and pay fees using the City's Rental Unit Registration Portal. Information was mailed to landlords who registered their rental units with the City during Interim Rent Control, emailed to people signed-up for Housing Issues updates, and posted to this webpage.

 

Please sign up for email updates from the City on Housing Issues to ensure you are notified.

Residential Rental Unit Registration Fee

$167 per unit per year

The City will not issue any refunds for the rental unit registration fee, including if there is a change in ownership or the rental unit is removed from the rental market.

Failure to Register/Late Payment Penalty Fee

Landlord Registration and Change in Ownership fees are due at the time the landlord submits registration or change in ownership. Landlords were required to re-register by July 31, 2022. 

They must renew registration annually each July 31 thereafter. The City will grant a grace period for registration, registration fees, and change in ownership fees through the end of the day each July 31 thereafter. 

To avoid a late payment penalty, a landlord’s registration and payment must be postmarked on or before July 31. A penalty of 20% will be added on the first day of each month following July 31 up to a maximum of 100%. The penalty will be assessed on the total amount unpaid, including any unpaid residential rental unit registration fees and any unpaid change in ownership fees from the previous year. Late fees will not be assessed on failure to register penalty fees. If July 31 falls on a nonbusiness day, the due date will be extended to the next business day.

Change in Ownership Fee

$15 per property

This fee is due at the time the rental unit registration information is updated with the new owner information.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the rental unit registration fee due?

The fee is due at the time of the rental unit registration, which was required to take place by July 31, 2021 during the first annual registration period.  Starting in July 2022, registration and fees will be due every July 31, with a grace period for registration and fee payment through August 31.

Who is responsible for paying the fee?

The landlord is responsible for paying the entire fee.

Why are these fees in place?

On September 29, 2020, the City Council amended the Culver City Municipal Code (CCMC) Chapter 15.09 to add permanent residential rent control and tenant protections programs.  

CCMC Section 15.09.230.D contains provisions for the City Council, by resolution, to establish a fee for the registration of rental units intended to recover the City’s reasonable costs associated with the administration and enforcement of the City’s residential rent control and tenant protections programs.

At its meeting on May 24, 2021, the City Council approved an annual registration fee, as well as fees for late payment, failure to register, and change in rental property ownership. The May 24, 2021 City Council meeting agenda and May 24, 2021 City Council staff report contain more information about the information considered by the City Council when they approved the fees. 

Maximum Permissible Rent Increase

The City caps annual rent increases at an amount tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The maximum allowable increase on rents that take effect during any given month are released monthly, approximately six weeks in advance of the first of each month. The maximum permissible annual rent increase is 5.00% for increases effective between September 1, 2022 through November 30, 2022.

Learn more about how the City calculates the maximum permissible annual rent increase by reading "Guideline/Rule No. 2020-RC01 (Annual Permissible Rent Increases)"(PDF, 386KB) .

What is the Maximum Permissible Rent Increase?

For rent increases with an effective date in this range The maximum permissible annual rent increase will be published on this date The maximum permissible annual rent increase
Jan 1 - Jan 31, 2021 11/13/20 2.00%
Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2021 12/11/20 2.00%
Mar 1 - Mar 31, 2021 1/14/21 2.00%
Apr 1 - Apr 30, 2021 2/11/21 2.00%
May 1 - May 30, 2021 3/11/21 2.00%
Jun 1 - Jun 30, 2021 4/14/21 2.00%
Jul 1 - Jul 31, 2021 5/13/21 2.00%
Aug 1 - Aug 31, 2021 6/11/21 2.00%
Sep 1 - Sep 30, 2021 7/14/21 2.00%
Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2021 8/12/21 2.25%
Nov 1 - Nov 30, 2021 9/15/21 2.25%
Dec 1 - Dec 31, 2021 10/14/21 2.50%
Jan 1 - Jan 31, 2022 11/11/21 3.00%
Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2022 12/13/21

3.50%

 Mar 1 - Mar 31, 2022  1/13/22  3.75%
 Apr 1 - Apr 30, 2022  2/14/22  4.50%
 May 1 - May 31, 2022  3/14/22  5.00%
 Jun 1 - Jun 30, 2022  4/13/22  5.00%
 Jul 1 - Jul 31, 2022  5/12/22  5.00%
 Aug 1 - Aug 31, 2022  6/13/22  5.00%
 Sep 1 - Sep 30, 2022  7/14/22  5.00%
 Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2022  8/11/22  5.00%
 Nov 1 - Nov 30, 2022  9/14/22  5.00%
 Dec 1 - Dec 31, 2022  10/14/22  
 Jan 1 - Jan 31, 2023  11/11/22  
 Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2023  12/14/22  

When will the rent cap for increases effective during future periods be announced?

Each month, on the next business day after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes the CPI, the Housing Division will publish on its Rent Control/Tenant Protections webpage the maximum permissible rent increase for rent increases that are effective in the month that is approximately six weeks after the published increase. For example, on November 13, 2020, the City will publish the rent cap for increases effective January 1 - 31, 2021, and on December 11, 2020, the City will publish the rent cap for increases effective February 1 - 28, 2021. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes a schedule in advance of the CPI publishing dates for the upcoming year.

 

COVID-Related Eviction Protections

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Culver City established a residential tenant eviction moratorium (RTEM) that prohibited all evictions of residential tenants through September 30, 2020.

On September 29, 2020, the Culver City City Council adopted permanent Rent Control and permanent Tenant Protections ordinances, which went into effect on October 30, 2020.

After the RTEM expired, California state law began governing all residential eviction protections related to pandemic impacts through September 30, 2021 (AB 3088: COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020). 

Now that both the RTEM and the state eviction moratorium have expired, tenants must pay regular rent that comes due after September 30, 2021 on time or face possible eviction. However, you may have certain protections under the LA County residential tenant eviction moratorium related to COVID-19.
 
Culver City’s permanent tenant protections remain in place. These protections include limits on allowable reasons for eviction, requirements that owners must meet before they or a family member can move into the unit, requirements to pay relocation expenses in certain cases, protections from uninhabitable conditions, and protections from retaliation and harassment. Review the City’s Tenant Protection Ordinance.

Other Resources

Soft Story Ordinance

The City of Culver City recently adopted a Soft Story Ordinance to promote public welfare and safety by reducing risk of death or injury from earthquakes on multi-story buildings. In past earthquakes, most of these types of structures perform poorly and collapse causing loss of life, personal injury and substantial property damage. This ordinance amends the California Building Code, creating minimum standards to reduce these risks.

If a building fails to comply with requirements of Culver City’s soft story ordinance, the building may require a seismic retrofit. In such cases, owners must notify all current and prospective residential and non-residential tenants about the project. Culver City’s Community Development Department and Building and Safety Division will provide a notice form, which calls for information about the project, including the scope of work, expected duration and contact information for a representative of the contractor.

Tenant Protections

In compliance with Section 15.09.330 of the Culver City Municipal Code, property owners must prevent uninhabitable conditions resulting from the project by:

  • Ensuring tenants can safely remain in the building during the project; or
  • Through the temporary relocation of Tenants.

State of California COVID-19 Rent Relief Program

The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program is no longer accepting applications. In accordance with California Senate Bill 115, all qualified applicants who submitted their application before the March 31 deadline will receive help with past-due rent and/or utility bills. As of April 1, 2022, more than 223,000 households have received approximately $2.5 billion in financial support. Remaining applications are being reviewed and paid in the order in which they were received.

Check your status on the State of California's website.

 

 

 

Landlord Forms & Resources

Residential Rental Registry and Rent Registration Certificate

The expiration date for all existing Rental Unit Rent Registration certificates issued under the Interim Rent Control Ordinance have been extended to January 31, 2022.  (The permanent rent control ordinance extended them until August 31, 2021 (see section 15.09.230) and the City in September 2021 administratively extended them until January 31, 2022.) Landlords are required to register units under the new permanent rent control regulations. The first deadline for registration was July 31, 2021, and each July 31st thereafter. 

The grace period for the first deadline (July 31, 2021) has been extended to January 31, 2022.  The City will waive failure to register and late payment penalties as long as a landlord registers his or her units and pays the rental unit registration fees by January 31, 2022. More information about how to reregister under the permanent regulations will be distributed in Fall 2021.  Please sign-up for email updates from the City to ensure you’re notified.

 

Rent Control Notice: A Required Posting

All landlords must post the Rent Control Ordinance Notice in a conspicuous location in the common area, at the entry or entries to the building or units, or other similar location or locations as necessary to provide tenants a reasonable opportunity to view the notice, at all properties where a Rent Registration Certificate is required (see CCMC 15.09.230(B)(5)). The one-page form will be written in both English and Spanish and provides tenants with information about Rent Control in Culver City. 

 

Tenant Buyouts

 

Application for Rent Adjustment

Landlords may use the "Application for Rent Adjustment" form to apply to increase rents beyond the maximum increase permitted by the Rent Control Ordinance.  The process of application and evaluation is described in "Guideline/Rule No. 2021-RC02 Applications for Rent Adjustments".

 

Capital Improvement Cost Recovery Application

The application for Capital Improvement Cost Recovery will be posted soon, when available.

Proof of Service Form

The Proof of Service form must be completed and provided to the Housing Division, whenever Culver City Municipal Code (CCMC), Subchapters 15.09.200, et seq. and 15.09.300, et seq., require a proof of service to be filed with the Housing Division.

More Resources for Landlords

 

Tenant Forms & Resources

Tenant Buyouts

Tenant Buyout Agreement Disclosure Notice(PDF, 82KB)

Proof of Service Form

The Proof of Service form must be completed and provided to the Housing Division, whenever Culver City Municipal Code (CCMC), Subchapters 15.09.200, et seq. and 15.09.300, et seq., require a proof of service to be filed with the Housing Division.

Proof of Service form(PDF, 71KB)

Free Legal Services for Culver City Tenants: Tenant Advocacy Legal Clinic

The City retained Bet Tzedek Legal Services to provide dedicated resources to Culver City residents seeking legal advice regarding landlord/tenant issues, including issues relating to the state residential eviction moratorium. These services are free to individuals living in the City of Culver City, regardless of immigration status, primary language or physical abilities. A part of the Preventing and Ending Homelessness Project, available services include advising tenants on Culver City’s Permanent Rent Control and Tenant Protections ordinances and fair housing laws.

Culver City tenants: if you need legal advice or have questions about your rental housing:

  1. Leave a voicemail with your name, phone number and address at (323) 549-5891
  2. Email CulverCityHousing@BetTzedek.org

 

Bet Tzedek Housing Walk-In Clinic

Beginning May 25, 2022, Bet Tzedek will begin holding weekly clinics to provide one on one legal assistance to Culver City tenants on their specific housing issues. The clinics will be held virtually every Wednesday from 10:00am-1:00pm. Tenants can schedule the appointments online, or by calling (323) 549-5891 or emailing culvercityhousing@bettzedek.org. There will be three 30 minute time slots available from 10:00am-11:30am, followed by office hours on Zoom where tenants can simply “walk-in” for assistance from 11:30am-1:00pm.

Tenant Housing Clinic Flyer(PDF, 557KB)

Tenant Petition for Noncompliance

If a tenant contends that a proposed or actual rent increase is not in compliance with Culver City Municipal Code (CCMC) Section 15.09.215 or that there has been a reduction in housing services, then the tenant may file a Tenant Petition for Noncompliance with the Housing Division.

Tenant Petition for Noncompliance Form(PDF, 285KB)

Other Information

Stay Housed L.A. County is a countywide initiative to provide legal assistance and support for tenants facing eviction amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Stay Housed L.A. County website provides tenants with useful information about their rights, workshops for residents who need legal assistance, and other support. Stay Housed L.A. County is a partnership between the County of Los Angeles, legal aid groups and community-based organizations to provide emergency support to tenants in need. Virtual Know Your Rights workshops will also be offered by participating community organizations to provide L.A. County residents with critical information about permanent and emergency tenant protections that can help tenants facing eviction or other challenges related to their rental housing. Community organizations will provide targeted ongoing support to help tenants with case management support.

More Resources for Tenants