A mother of two, Jackie Becerra and her husband struggle to pay the rent for their Mission Hills home.
"It's the rent. It's the gas. It's the food. It's the everything," she said. "Actually this month we were saying we need health coverage, we need to pay rent and figure something for [our child] because he's on the spectrum. It's a little bit difficult."
For some families it's going to get even tougher as on midnight Thursday California's eviction moratorium expires, allowing landlords in some cities to begin the eviction process.
"As of tomorrow, even if the tenant is waiting to get rental assistance for the months of rent that are demanded in an eviction case, the landlord can go ahead and evict them," said Madeline Howard, senior attorney at Western Center on Law and Poverty.
About 18% of the COVID rent relief payments received by the state are still not processed. Luckily, for residents in cities like Los Angeles, officials extended their eviction moratoriums. Unfortunately, for others not living in those cities and counties, the protections will come to an end.
"By taking away protections without replacing them — without some other types of protections — it just sets up a situation where were going to see a lot more hardship, loss of housing and an increase in homelessness," said Larry Gross, Executive Director of Coalition for Economic Survival.
However, landlords said they are hurting too, according to the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles.
"It's been well over two years that the government has been baby-sitting renters and there's been a lot of gaming the system," said Executive Director Daniel Yukelson. "And as a result of that, there's a lot of property owners that aren't able to make ends meet today. Bunch of our members are retirees and they need the money they get to supplement their retirement. They're having difficult affording their medical expenses, buying food and many other things."
So far, the state has paid out $3.8 billion in assistance, averaging at about $11,000 per household.
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