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Los Angeles To Distribute $235M In Rental Assistance

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Angelenos struggling to cover their rent because of issues brought on by coronavirus pandemic will soon be able to apply for help through a massive $235 million rental assistance program.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program, made up of state and federal funds, will open its application window on March 30, the city of Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department announced Monday.

The program is open to all low-income renters in the city of L.A., regardless of their immigration status.

To be eligible, households must have at least one adult who has lost a job or experienced financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. Their household income must also be below 50% of area median income, which for a family of four is $56,300.

There are two ways that people can apply. Landlords and tenants can apply together, in which case landlords will receive 80% of a tenant's unpaid rent that was accrued between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. However, to receive this amount, landlords must waive the remaining 20% of unpaid rent.

If landlords decline to apply for the program, then tenants can apply on their own and payments will be limited to 25% of unpaid rent that was accrued over the last year, along with 25% of future rent for this coming April to June.

The hope is that the fund will help up to 50,000 local renters and their landlords.

"Low-income renters will get a fresh start financially so that when the economy picks up and they go back to their jobs, they don't have all this long-term debt and restore the income stream landlords need to maintain their rental properties," said Anna Ortega, Asst. GM of the Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department.

The application window runs from March 30 to April 30. For more details click here.

L.A. County has been under an eviction moratorium since early March 2020 that will go through at least June 30. Under the moratorium, landlords cannot evict tenants for nonpayment of rent. However, the back-rent will continue to accrue, and once the moratorium is lifted, landlords will be allowed to evict those tenants.

A report in January found that about one-fifth of all Los Angeles County tenants paid rent late at least once during the pandemic.

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