City of LA launches emergency rental assistance program

RENTERS in the City of Los Angeles have until the end of April to apply for the second round of rental assistance.

LA, in partnership with the federal government and the State of California, has created a new emergency rental assistance program to assist low-income renters who have been unable to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications opened on Tuesday, March 30 and will close at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 30.

The city’s 2021  Emergency Rental Assistance program  is for LA renters and rental property owners and will be administered by the Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA). The program is providing $235,500,000 in federal and state emergency rental assistance funds to support low-income households in paying rent arrears for renters  impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is open to all low-income renters living in the city, regardless of immigration status.

In order to qualify to receive rental assistance, people who live in Los Angeles must have been impacted by the pandemic through unemployment, a reduction in household income or experiencing other financial hardship. Priority will be given to households who have experienced 90 days or more of unemployment.

The renters must have a household income that is at or below 50% of the area median income, which is $39,450 for a single-person household, but priority will be given to households at or below 30% of the area median income, which is $23,700 annually for a single-person household.

Renters who apply to the program have the option of:

A cooperative approach between the tenant and landlord in which the landlord will be reimbursed 80% of the eligible renters’ unpaid rent accrued between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. The landlord must agree to waive the remaining 20% of unpaid rent for that same period of time.

Or if the landlord declines to participate, the eligible renter will receive 25% of the unpaid rent that was accrued between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 as well as financial assistance to pay 25% of up to three months future rent from April to June 2021.

City of Los Angeles renters, and landlords applying on behalf of their tenants, are encouraged to apply online at the HCIDLA website at: hcidla.lacity.org through  April 30.

Applicants with limited online access can call the  ERAP Hotline  at (833) 373-0587 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the application period. TTY will also be available for persons with hearing or speech impairments. Applications and phone support will also be available in multiple languages.

Applications received between March 30 and April 9 will be selected through a randomized process to determine the order of review for the first group. Applications received from April 10th through April 30 will be selected through a second randomized process, according to HCIDLA.

Those who live outside of LA can apply for assistance through the state’s COVID-19 Rent Relief program by visiting HousingisKey.com or by calling (833) 430-2122. (AJPress)

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