LA rent relief program to provide up to $2,000 for tenants affected financially by COVID-19

Los Angeles will start accepting applications Monday for a rent relief program to help tenants affected financially by the coronavirus pandemic.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The city of Los Angeles will start accepting applications Monday for a new rent relief program aimed at helping tenants affected financially by the coronavirus pandemic.

The City Council in June approved the $103 million renters relief program.

After a renter's application is approved, the funds would be paid directly to landlords.

The city estimates the program could help 50,000 households through two months of assistance, with up to $2,000 being awarded per home.

"It provides $100 million to help renters stay in their homes and get welcome relief from the financial stress they are experiencing," Mayor Eric Garcetti said.

In addition, a moratorium on evictions is currently in force statewide, but will expire 90 days after Gov. Gavin Newsom declares the end of the COVID-19 emergency, unless earlier repealed by the state's Judicial Council.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom extended an authorization allowing local governments to delay evictions through the end of September for renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Requirements for eligibility in the LA program include: Residency in the city of Los Angeles (regardless of immigration status); households that can provide proof of tenancy; household annual income at or below 80% of area median income prior to the COVID-19 crisis; and households that can prove loss of income due to COVID-19 after March 13, 2020.

Information about how to apply is available here at the website for the City of Los Angeles Emergency Renters Assistance Program.

Persons with limited online access may call the Application Hotline at (844)944-1868, between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. from July 13-17. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may call 844-325-1398 during the same hours.

The city is also accepting donations for those who wish to help vulnerable renters in Los Angeles.

The application process will be open for five days, starting at 8 a.m. on Monday, July 13 and closing at 11:59 p.m. on July 17, said Ann Sewill, general manager of the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department, which administers the program.

"We know people throughout the city of Los Angeles need assistance, particularly our working poor and disenfranchised communities, who are hit hardest by both the health and economic impacts of COVID-19,'' Council President Nury Martinez said. "Demand will be high and serve as a reminder that the federal government must offer billions more in housing assistance if we are going to help all who need assistance to remain in their homes during and after this pandemic.''

The majority of the funds - $100 million -- come from the city's federal CARES Act stimulus money. The additional $3 million was contributed by individual city council offices.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors last month approved a motion to spend up to $30 million in funding that had been earmarked for affordable housing to instead go for rent relief.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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