L.A. County’s $100-million Rent Relief Program

L.A. City Council passed a one-hundred million dollar program to provide financial aid to the thousands of families that have been hurt during this pandemic.  Up to $2,000 in rental assistance for low income households will be provided.  The Los Angeles County unemployment rate rose to a staggering 21%, and although this is an expansive program, it is only the beginning of rebuilding the financial downturn the pandemic brought upon the entire world.  Overall, this plan is meant to somewhat repair the unstable economy by helping the low-income citizens who have been laid off, consumed by sickness, or are helping their family members recuperate from illnesses.  

Citizens will need proof of financial or health troubles to qualify for the program.  The city will help tenants pay their rent for up to $1,000/month, and provide a maximum payment of $2,000 per household.  These payments will go directly to the tenants’ landlords.  Eligibility is also determined by a tenant’s income; to be considered low-income, one must make less than 80% of the median income in their area.  Although eligibility encompasses all those who make no more than 80% of the median income, more money is reserved for those who make no more than 30% of the median income.  This ensures that financial assistance goes to the households that need it most.  An L.A. County report stated that the majority of funds will be distributed between August and October.  16,000 families are expected to receive financial assistance during those months.  

Rental Assistance efforts have been elevated with 20 million dollars for funding.  Evictions are on hold for the time being, and multiple tenant protections have been issued, such as the ability for renters to utilize an extra year after the state of emergency expires to make up any late rent payments.  Landlords must agree to maintain the rent price if any party involved receives rental assistance. 

So far, it seems that the citizens of Los Angeles County are resilient and have been able to keep up with the majority of their rent payments.  In order to provide some sort of cushioning for Americans, Congress increased unemployment benefits to include an extra $600 a week.  However, this extra assistance is expected to expire at the end of July.  

Through the uncertainty of this pandemic, we must remain alert, hopeful, and unafraid to ask for help.

If you want to read Liam Dillon’s full article, click the link below. 


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