Help is on the way for households struggling to pay rent and mom-and-pop property owners struggling to pay mortgage amid the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 19, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas hosted a webinar to inform property owners about the new program and brief them on resources available through the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. The Supervisor 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.
“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,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas 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.”
“The COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program created by the Board of Supervisors will provide a dual benefit for two segments of our communities that are hurting,” said LACDA Acting Executive Director Emilio Salas.
“For income-eligible renters that were impacted by the pandemic, it will provide a lifeline to assist in paying their rent,” he added. “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 US Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, provides emergency rental assistance grants to income-eligible households who suffered through a job loss, furlough, or reduction in hours or pay as a result of the pandemic.
In the Second District, $1 million has been allocated to provide tenants with up to $1,000 towards their monthly rent for up to three months. LA 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 by going to the website 211LA.org/covid-rental-help. In order to qualify, a household’s income before COVID-19 cannot exceed certain thresholds – for example, $63,100 for an individual, and $90,100 for a family of four. All applications must be received by May 31st, 2020.
An additional $800,000 has been set aside for mom-and-pop property owners to help them pay the mortgage on their rental properties. LACDA will administer the program.
The Board of Supervisors voted to extend LA 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.