LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to allocate additional emergency funding to assist struggling renters and expand tenant protections during the coronavirus pandemic.
County supervisors Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis proposed the program last Thursday that would set up an emergency rental assistance program with Community Development Block Grant funds they hope will be provided as part of the next round of the federal CARES Act.
“As we fight the spread of this virus and do everything we can to save lives, this crisis has devastated families who were already living on the brink of poverty,” Hahn said.
The proposal came a day after city councilman David Ryu launched a renters outreach program meant to help educate renters and landlords on their new rights during the coronavirus crisis.
“The eviction moratorium we have in place has provided some relief, but many families are going to struggle to pay back the rent they owe after this crisis is over,” Hahn said.
Last month, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the city’s eviction moratorium was indefinite and renters would have 12 months to pay back rent once the COVID-19 emergency declaration is lifted.
Rent assistance through the proposed program would provide rent subsidies of up to $1,000 per month for up to three months for families who have recently lost jobs, though the details have yet to be worked out.
The overall level of funding will depend on how much money is allocated by the federal government and whether that can be matched, in part, by private dollars.
The supervisors hope to acquire funding through philanthropies or private sources.
“Housing stability is crucial for residents both during and after the COVID-19 crisis,” Solis said. “We know the county’s eviction moratorium helps protect renters against homelessness now, but it won’t help them once past-due rent needs to be paid back.”
The emergency rent-assistance program proposal will be voted on during Tuesday’s virtual meeting of the Board of Supervisors.
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