The city of Los Angeles Tuesday launched its Emergency Renters Assistance Program, with the aim of providing financial assistance toward back rent to low-income renters at risk of homelessness due to COVID-19 or other financial hardships.
The program, funded by Measure ULA funds, also known as the "mansion tax," will offer up to six months of rental assistance, and renters can apply online at any time during the application period at housing.lacity.org or by phone at 888-379-3150, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The application opens at 8 a.m. and ends Oct. 2 at 6 p.m.
According to the L.A. Housing Department, Angelenos must be eligible under the following requirements:
-- Be a resident of the city of L.A., regardless of immigration status. To verify if you live in the city, go to neighborhoodla.org.
-- One or ore more individuals within the household have experienced a loss of employment, reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship between March 2020 to present;
-- Have unpaid rent due to their current landlord for any month(s) between April 2020 to present; and
-- The current household income is at or below 80% of the area medium income.
Ann Sewill, general manager of the L.A. Housing Department, will have a virtual news conference to discuss the launch of the program, and a Q-and-A will follow at 10 a.m.
In August, the L.A. City Council front-funded a $150 million plan, as outlined by Measure ULA, with the intention of funding tenant protections and supporting affordable housing.
Measure ULA is a 4% sales tax on properties exceeding $5 million, and 5.5% sales tax on properties exceeding $10 million. The revenue from the sales tax is collected and earmarked for renter protections, such as rental assistance programs, eviction defense, building more affordable housing units.
Tenant protections for back-rent accrued during the coronavirus pandemic between March 2020 to September 2021 ended on Aug. 1, and many Angelenos may face eviction as they work to pay any missing rent.
Programs and services funded through Measure ULA will support Angelenos who need to pay that back rent.
For rent that accrued from October 2021 to Jan. 31, tenants have until February 2024 to pay up.
The Housing Department will introduce an online portal to provide financial assistance for mom-and-pop landlords in October 23. Small landlord providers who own 12 or fewer units will be able to file an application with the city.