June 26, 2020

LA County to Create Emergency Rent Assistance Program Amid COVID-19 Crisis

San Pedro, CA — Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a proposal by Supervisors Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis to create an Emergency Rent Assistance Program during the COVID-19 crisis.  When it is created, the program could provide up to $1000 per month for three months to renters who have lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“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,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “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. Rent assistance will help keep people in their homes and lessen some of the long-term economic damage this pandemic will have on families.”

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has implemented a rent freeze and eviction moratorium to prevent families from losing their homes during this epidemic. However, renters will still need to pay back rent owed in the months after the crisis. Rent assistance would not need to be paid back and could prevent families from falling into even worse economic hardship.

The number of families that will be helped by the program will depend on the level of funding. Funding for the program would come from the second round of funding Los Angeles County expects to receive from the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Additional funding could come from philanthropy and private sources.

“Housing stability is crucial for residents both during and after the COVID-19 crisis. 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,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, co-author of this motion. “This Emergency Rental Assistance Program can provide sorely needed support to cost burdened households while they are earning little or no income as a result of the pandemic.”

The Los Angeles County Development Authority will report back to the Board of Supervisors with an implementation plan for the Emergency Rent Assistance Program in 30 days.  Read the full motion here.

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