Gov. Gavin Newsom joined Los Angeles-area renters and the secretary of the state’s Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency in Bell Gardens this week to promote the state’s $5.2 billion program to pay back 100 percent of rent for low-income renters, regardless of immigration status, who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If we see mass evictions, we will have seen something we’ve never experienced in our lifetime, and that’s the number of people on streets and sidewalks that will overwhelm. That’s why this program is so important,’’ Newsom said.

The program is part of the state’s 2021-22 fiscal year budget, which was signed by Newsom on July 12. Applicants can receive 100 percent of rent owed from April 2020 and through September 2021. Newsom urged people to apply as soon as possible to ensure they receive the money before the eviction moratorium expires on Sept. 30. He added that there was only a “very modest’’ chance that it would be extended again.

Newsom said that renters who applied during the state’s previous program and received 25 percent or 80 percent of their owed rent do not need to apply again.

“We are automatically topping that off, you don’t have to come back and reapply. We’re taking care of everybody that went through that other program and providing 100 percent,’’ he said.

The state’s Secretary of Business, Consumer Services and Housing, Lourdes Castro Ramirez, said officials aim to distribute rent relief within 30 days of a person’s application being submitted. The dollars will go directly to the landlord.

Renters and landlords can apply for the program at