$100 million renters' relief program expected to be approved by LA City Council, but is it enough?

A $100 million renters' relief program is expected to be approved by the L.A. City Council. On Eyewitness Newsmakers, Council President Nury Martinez said that's not nearly enough and this round will be distributed by lottery.
A $100 million renters' relief program is expected to be approved next week by the L.A. City Council. On Eyewitness Newsmakers, Council President Nury Martinez said that's not nearly enough and this round will be distributed by lottery.

"One hundred million dollars is geared towards making sure that folks apply for this program. We have the infrastructure in place. Applications will become available July 6, and run from July 6 to July 10. On July 13th there should be a lottery system in which the department will be able to select families and issue rent relief," Martinez explained.

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Martinez added, that's not nearly enough.

"One hundred million dollars is definitely not enough, compared to the desperation and the need that I've seen not only in my district but throughout the city of Los Angeles, whether you go to a food giveaway, or a diaper giveaway, or laundry services that I've provided for some of my families to my district. The need is enormous, so it's not enough money, we recognize that," she said.

The City Council president backed the plan to reallocate $150 million from the LAPD budget for social services after protests for police reform.

"I think part of the outrage in folks calling for the reallocation of funding of the police department is, people are tired of of seeing social services diminishing in communities of color," she said, adding, "Not being able to have the resources, particularly with our library system, our parks, which are heavily used by some of our neighborhoods. We haven't done enough or invested enough in these types of services."

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A financial crisis is brewing for renters when the eviction moratorium is lifted, and according to a national non-profit in the residential rental business, it will strike people who had always been responsible bill payers.


After she endorsed the reallocation, the police union issued a letter, saying she had a million-dollar security detail. Martinez said the detail was suggested by the police department because her life had been threatened.

She added, "This was suggested by the police department. After they sent out their letter, I decided to call off the detail, but I have to tell you, other city-wide officials have 24-hour details, and I don't know what that cost. But, I'm a mom. I'm a woman, and threats were made to me and my family, and I take that very seriously."
Also on Newsmakers, the latest unemployment numbers in the state and L.A. County were discussed. The county's 20.6% unemployment is the highest since the Great Depression and means one out of five workers has lost their job.

While experts think the worst has peaked, Bill Allen, CEO of the L.A. Economic Development Corporation, says we need to closely follow health guidelines because a renewed COVID outbreak would be devastating.

He said, "We lost a million jobs in Los Angeles County. Just think about that. One million of our neighbors, family members, friends are without employment, and that's why reopening the economy is so important right now."

Allen added opening the economy must be done with caution.

"We cannot afford another outbreak. Individual families can't afford it, small businesses can't afford it, our governments who provide the essential human services can't afford it because of the tremendous loss of tax revenue." Allen concluded, "We have to move from a safe at home ethic to a safer at work ethic. Every business owner and every patron of a business should really be wearing a mask, social distancing, washing their hands to keep this economy going."

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California's job losses were even higher in April than previously thought, state figures showed, producing a staggering unemployment rate not seen since the Great Depression.

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