LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to launch a $10 million defense fund for tenants facing eviction because of economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The L.A. Housing and Community Investment Department will be tasked with putting together the program.

Renters and housing advocates attend a protest to cancel rent and avoid evictions amid Coronavirus pandemic on Aug. 21, 2020, in Los Angeles. (Getty Images)

The vote came on the heels of a bill signed Monday by California Gov. Gavin Newsom which extends the statewide eviction moratorium through Jan. 31, 2020.

Under the new law, landlords are not allowed to evict tenants who did not pay their rent between March 1 and Aug. 31. It also bans evictions for tenants affected by the virus who pay at least 25% of their rent due between Sept. 1 and Jan. 31.

The City Attorney’s Office is analyzing how the bill will effect L.A.’s own eviction protections. Back in March, the city of L.A. announced a halt on evictions during the coronavirus. Tenants will have up to 12 months to repay back rent once the pandemic ends.

In April, the council voted to move forward with a plan to freeze rent increases for a period of about one year for older apartments that are protected by the city’s rent stabilization ordinance.

Meanwhile, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors Tuesday also extended a moratorium on evictions through Oct. 31. The county’s moratorium sets the minimum standard for cities countywide.

California courts were expected to accept filings for evictions beginning on Tuesday. Rich Coca, a spokesperson for L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez, said landlords could still file for the proceedings even though the city’s law keeps action from happening through at least the end of September.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)


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