Coronavirus

New Federally Backed Program Announced for LA County Renters, Landlords

The COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program will provide a dual benefit for two segments that are hurting.

Help is on the way for households struggling to pay rent as well as for mom-and-pop landlords struggling to collect rent and pay mortgage amid the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas announced Wednesday.

Ridley-Thomas is partnering with the Los Angeles Community Development Authority (LACDA) on a $1.8 million federally funded Emergency Rental Assistance Program in unincorporated areas within Los Angeles County's 2nd District, which include Athens, East and West Rancho Dominguez, Florence Firestone, Ladera Heights, Lennox, View Park, Windsor Hills and Willowbrook, according to a statement.

"One of the most disturbing elements of this pandemic has been its impact to the housing stability of our region and our nation at large," RidleyThomas said. "An unimaginable number of families are struggling just to feed their families. We must act with urgency and compassion to support residents and property owners weather these unspeakable circumstances. These grants will go a long way towards keeping hundreds of families housed."

Los Angeles Community Development Authority Acting Executive Director Emilio Salas said the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program created by the Board of Supervisors will provide a dual benefit for two segments that are hurting.

"For income-eligible renters that were impacted by the pandemic, it will provide a lifeline to assist in paying their rent," he said. "For our property owner community, many of whom are mom-and-pop providers of rental housing, it will provide help to meet their mortgage obligations on rental properties. The LACDA is pleased to work with the Board, our partner agencies, and 2-1-1 to kick off this vital program."

The U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, provides emergency rental assistance grants to incomeeligible households who suffered through a job loss, furlough, or reduction in hours or pay as a result of the pandemic.

In L.A. County's Second District, $1 million has been allocated to provide tenants with up to $1,000 toward their monthly rent for up to three months. L.A. County has contracted with the nonprofit St. Joseph Center and HOPICS to administer the program.

Tenants can apply by contacting 211 L.A., either by dialing 2-1-1 or going to the website 211LA.org/covid-rental-help. In order to qualify, a household's income prior to the pandemic cannot exceed certain income thresholds -- for example, $63,100 for an individual, and $90,100 for a family of four. All applications must be received by May 31.

An additional $800,000 in grants has been set aside for mom-and-pop landlords to help them pay the mortgage on their rental properties. LACDA will administer the program, which is set to launch Thursday. The Board of Supervisors voted to extend L.A. County's eviction moratorium to June 30, 2020, with consideration of additional extensions every 30 days thereafter.

The moratorium will now apply to unincorporated areas countywide, as well as in jurisdictions that have not passed their own rent stabilization ordinances. As funding for these federal programs relies on U.S. Census data, all County residents are encouraged complete the 2020 Census and be counted. In addition to mailing it in, residents can complete it online this year at my2020census.gov.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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