Inglewood offers rent relief due to COVID-19 pandemic

The city of Inglewood is accepting applications for its COVID-19 Rent Relief Program to help amid coronavirus pandemic.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of life, including housing and it's no different in Inglewood. That's why in October, the Inglewood City Council unanimously passed a program to help people with their rent.

"This is something that we're very proud of that we feel is very necessary," said Inglewood Mayor James Butts. "And we encourage all of our residents to look at it and apply for it."

Mayor Butts said the goal is to help Inglewood renters that have been affected by coronavirus. As of Nov. 4th, the case rate in Inglewood was slightly less than the county's rate with Inglewood at 2,902 per 100,000 and L.A. County at 3,105 per 100,000.

However, the September unemployment rate was higher than the county with LA County with a 15.1% unemployment rate and Inglewood at 20.2% unemployment rate.

The application for the program opens Nov. 6th and will stay open until Nov. 16th or until a thousand people apply. The program offers renters up to three months in rent.

"People with mortgages can negotiate with their banks. They have a program that is called forbearance," Butts said. "And so, they have other options that are not available to renters and so that's why we chose renters."

The city is also offering a debit card program that would provide $1,000 to applicants who most need it. Eddie Cruz, a member of the Lennox-Inglewood Tenants Union said members of his union rallied to the city council for programs like these.

"Hearing unions out in your city and your community that are actually talking to people in your community," Cruz said. "It's like a bridge."

Mayor Butts said a large part of the funding for these programs comes from the Cares Act and also some of the city's CDBG funds and general monies. The application can be found on the City of Inglewood's website.

"These two programs will bring some financial alleviation to people who are finding difficult ways to make money and finding difficult ways to provide for their families," Cruz said. "These two programs will be beneficial to help them financially."

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