Ellina Abovian reports for KTLA on the City of Los Angeles’ new $259-million rent relief initiative, which the city council approved on March 2. The Emergency Renters Assistance Program uses federal funding to assist tenants making 50% or less of area median income (AMI) with the goal of helping “local families get back on their feet just as coronavirus case rates are declining, with the end of the pandemic finally in sight.”
The program follows a similar initiative last year that provided rental assistance to 49,000 families, according to city officials. Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez “said thousands of families in L.A. are struggling to pay back rent amounting to around $4,000 to $7,000” and that “at least 90,000 Californians have fallen behind on their rent payments.”
Eligible households must also demonstrate that they “qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship, directly or indirectly, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.” According to the city’s website, “eligible applicants will be chosen through a random selection process.” The program will pay 80% of past-due rent, “but only if the landlord agrees to waive the remaining 20%.”
The application window for the new program opens on March 30.