LA City Council unanimously approves rent assistance program for low-income residents

The L.A. City Council on Wednesday voted to bring back a rent assistance program to help low-income renters impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to bring back a rent assistance program to help low-income renters impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Renters' Assistance Program is aimed at providing additional assistance beyond protections already in place. The program will be for families and individuals who will struggle in the first few months to catch up on payments.

All renters affected by COVID-19 are already protected by the city's eviction moratorium that gives renters 90 days after the emergency declaration ends to repay rent.

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Council President Nury Martinez has dedicated $1 million from her discretionary funds as seed money and Councilman Herb Wesson put in $150,000. Martinez hopes the program will gain the support of her colleagues to provide financial assistance to families that need it the most.

Other funds, including federal block grants and private donations, are also expected to be utilized for the program, Martinez said.

The Los Angeles Housing and Community Development Department will be in charge of creating and administering the fund. Martinez said she wants to see the program established, funded and running by the time the coronavirus crisis ends.

The council will also call on the L.A. city attorney to write a workers recall and retention ordinance, which would provide job re-hiring protections for workers impacted by layoffs at airports and those who work in the hospitality industry. The ordinance would also require those employees be retained even when companies transfer.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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