On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted to move forward with plans for a $100-million relief program to assist renters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am reminded every day during this ongoing pandemic that people, especially those in disenfranchised communities, are struggling,” said City Council President Nury Martinez in a prepared statement. “This program will help tens of thousands of Angelenos, and that’s wonderful.
The program will be targeted at tenants earning at or below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI), with half of the funds earmarked for households earning at or below 30 percent of AMI. The remaining money will be split between households earning at or below 50 and 80 percent of AMI.
A report from the City's Housing and Community Investment Department indicates that the program can provide assistance for up to 50,000 households. Recipients could receive a subsidy of up to $2,000 over a two-month period, with payments going directly to their landlords. Landlords, in turn, would be required to reserve a six-month no-eviction clause included in the program.
The program will be divided into two sections, the first occurring from August to September, and the second from October to November.
Registration is scheduled to occur over a five-day period in July, with recipients to be selected via lottery. Information on registration will be made available at HCIDLA.org.
The lion's share of funding for the renter relief program would be allocated from the City's roughly $700-million share of the coronavirus stimulus bill passed by Congress in March. Several council offices also identified additional local funding for the program, amounting to $3 million.
The Los Angeles City Council has previously adopted temporary bans on evictions and rent hikes for residents impacted by COVID-19, but have stopped short of enacted more ambitious proposals - including a full moratorium on residential evictions - urged by activists.