Coronavirus: Los Angeles City Council introduces rent assistance program for low-income residents

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As the days go on, the coronavirus pandemic stretches and budgets are stretched as well.

"A lot of people are struggling, a lot of people don't have work. A lot of people don't know where the next meal is gonna come from," said Marva Bennett, a Los Angeles resident.

All across Los Angeles, residents are being stripped of their incomes and forced to stay home by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Los Angeles City Council held an emergency meeting Tuesday morning. Council President Nury Martinez was the only council member physically present, along with a handful of essential staff.

Other members, joined through the internet, and introduced on Tuesday a rent assistance program for low-income residents in Los Angeles slammed by the pandemic.

"I want to ensure that the working poor, working people that have just been laid off, that cannot pay their rent, actually can access an emergency renter's relief fund so that they can catch up with their rent and not fall behind," Martinez said.

Council members will vote on the proposal at the next council meeting. They'll also vote on an Emergency Lifeline Jobs Program. Its goal is to make sure federal pandemic relief funds coming into Los Angeles are routed to work programs for low-income residents.

"We want to ensure with this federal stimulus money is that we're actually putting into communities of color, communities of working people who are going to be out of work and we need to invest in them," said Martinez.

In the meantime, Los Angeles residents are left reeling by the coronavirus pandemic, watching what savings they had disappear.

"I have enough for about another month. So in another month, I don't know what I'm gonna do," said Julio Ortiz.
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