Councilmember Mike Bonin: Homelessness at Venice Beach ~ 6.22.2021

Councilmember Mike Bonin
Starting next week, we are launching the next phase of an ambitious and unprecedented program that will humanely address the homelesness crisis at Venice Beach, respond to the urgent safety needs of the housed and the unhoused, and fully reopen the park and beach for general public use.
Beginning Monday, teams led by the St. Joseph Center will begin offering housing, shelter and services to everyone currently living in encampments along Ocean Front Walk. The six-week initiative, a collaboration between neighbors, government agencies and nonprofits, will offer nearly 200 people a pathway to permanent housing and appropriate services to help them succeed.
The “Venice Beach Encampment to Home” program will not be led by law enforcement, nor driven by threats of arrest or incarceration. We will offer what works: housing, with counseling, or mental health services, substance abuse recovery services, and anything else needed to successfully transition people into housing. The current situation is intolerable, and we must end it. Nobody deserves to live, or die, on the street; and all Angelenos should be able to enjoy our neighborhoods, beaches, and parks. We can do better, and this program creates a model for bringing people together to house those in need and reopen our public spaces, using a humane and proven approach.
How will this work?
Since late April, an early phase of this initiative has helped dozens of people move indoors from encampments on the boardwalk, in time to reopen the handball courts, volleyball area, and skate park to public use. We will use the same approach, with dramatically expanded resources for the northern half of Ocean Front Walk (OFW), offering housing and services to nearly 200 people.Professional outreach workers and neighbors have been on OFW for weeks, developing relationships, and building trust. Starting June 28, outreach workers will begin offering housing to people living in encampments in designated zones. Over six weeks, they will systematically focus on entire encampments. As people and their belongings move indoors, dedicated Bureau of Sanitation resources will clean each area. Once the people currently living in each zone have been housed, the spaces will be reactivated with community programming for public enjoyment.

What resources are available?
Over the past several months, my staff and St. Joseph Center, with the assistance of Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and my colleague Counclmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, have identified a variety of permanent housing options including openings in Project Homekey, in shared housing, and through permanent housing vouchers.
For vouchers, we know that identifying willing landlords or available units can take time. That’s why we’ve made sure to include substantial interim housing resources, including up to six months of motel placements per person as needed—the most commonly requested interim housing option—so unhoused residents have a safe place to stabilize and begin receiving services, as additional permanent resources come online.City Council will take up final consideration of the funding for this Encampment to Home program for Venice Beach this coming Wednesday.

Why now?
Homelessness has been a big problem in Venice and Los Angeles for a long time, but it grew significantly worse during the pandemic. Public health orders necessary to protect people from COVID-19 resulted in reduced capacity at emergency shelters, and caused encampments to become larger – especially in neighborhoods where there was already a significant unhoused population. This has led to overcrowding, confrontations, crimes and even fires. As most housed residents honored Stay at Home orders, places like beaches and parks became campgrounds for those who did not have homes. As the pandemic has lifted, and the public’s appetite to return to full use of recreational facilities reemerged, the state and federal governments have made more housing resources available, giving us the necessary tools to help people move out of encampments. Encampments are unsafe, unsanitary, and unacceptable. That is why I have fought against lawsuits, appeals, and protests to provide alternatives to encampments. Everyone suffers with the status quo; everyone wins when people can move indoors.

Who is involved?
This effort has an array of partners.  St. Joseph Center is the lead agency, but resources, services and support are also provided by People Assisting the Homeless, Safe Place for Youth, Venice Family Clinic, Self Help and Recovery Exchange (SHARE!), CLARE Matrix and others. Government agencies include the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, Department of Public Health, the Department of Mental Health, Department of Recreation & Parks, and Bureau of Sanitation. The Los Angeles Police Department, which is aware and supportive of the program, is not involved in this rehousing effort. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, whose presence and lack of familiarity with Venice and available services has been disruptive to outreach efforts, is not involved or participating. The sheriff’s rhetoric and approach are damaging, as is the criminalization of homelessness. It leads to re-traumatization, breaks crucial connections with service providers, creates barriers to housing and employment, locks people further into homelessness or poverty, and can lead to displacement into neighboring areas. That’s why our effort leads with housing, and not with handcuffs.

How long will it take?
The effort will take 6 weeks, beginning June 28 and ending in early August. Each week, St. Joseph Center and outreach teams will focus on a different geographic section of OFW. 

How can I get involved and support this effort?
If you would like to volunteer to help support the effort, if you would like to donate materials or supplies to people moving indoors, or if you own rental units and would be interested in accepting a tenant with a housing voucher, please fill out this form and let us know. There is a right way and a wrong way to respond to homelessness, and we are determined to do it the right way. The Venice Beach Encampment to Home program is an ambitious initiative, and we have a lot of work to do. If we work together, I am optimistic that we can house our unhoused neighbors and ensure that Venice Beach becomes once again a safe and welcoming environment for all.  Regards,

MIKE BONIN
Councilmember, 11th District 
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P.S. Even though many City facilities – including my offices – remain physically closed to the public, my staff and I are at work and available to serve you. If you want to reach us, please call 213-444-3508. It is a new central number that allows you to reach us even when my staff is telecommuting. You can also email us, and you can call 311 to request basic city services. We are committed to continuing throughout this public health crisis the work we do every day to help solve problems in our neighborhood.

Our mailing address is:

Office of Councilmember Mike Bonin

1645 Corinth Ave.

Los Angeles, Ca 90025

San Vicente “Veterans Row” Update

Representing District 3

From the West / Metro LA District Director – October 12, 2021

The encampment near the West LA Veterans Administration known as “Veterans Row” is receiving intensive outreach in the weeks to come in order to ensure that all veterans are provided interim and permanent housing options by November 1.

We are able to bring additional resources to this effort thanks to a new public-private partnership. 

As of the beginning of this month, approximately 50 people, most of them veterans, lived at this encampment. Since the beginning of this month more than a dozen housing placements have been achieved already.

This effort is led by the LA Homeless Services Authority in partnership with the LA County Sheriff’s Department HOST team, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA),several local nonprofit service providers, and LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s office. As veterans themselves, the HOST deputies are uniquely qualified to build trusting relationships with the veterans in this encampment.

In accordance with best practices, the effort focuses on connecting encampment residents to services and housing, making use of VA resources as well as services and housing available to non-veterans. If you have any questions, we’ll do our best to answer or connect to LAHSA and other partners to ensure that you have the latest information. Thanks!

With sincere appreciation,

Fernando

Fernando R. Morales

District Director, West/Metro LA

O: 310.231.1170

C: 213.379.2807

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VAGLAHS Announces First Tiny Shelters Delivered to VA West LA Campus for Homeless Veterans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE         
October 12, 2021          

LOS ANGELES – On Wednesday, October 6, three tiny shelters were delivered to the VA’s West Los Angeles campus and placed on asphalt pavement recently installed in anticipation of their arrival.  The shelters came fully equipped and ready for occupancy, complete with a bed and mattress, fire life safety equipment, and air conditioning and heating.

The VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS) is currently transitioning a portion of its current Care, Treatment and Rehabilitative Services (CTRS) initiative from tenting to tiny shelters.  Asphalt pavement has been installed to support up to 60-70 tiny shelters for Veterans who are experiencing homelessness. The area, which is bordered by San Vicente Boulevard to the southwest and Wilshire Boulevard to the southeast, is the current site of the CTRS initiative, a low-barrier-to-entry outreach program that provides homeless Veteran participants a safe, clean, designated tented living area and regular access to medical care, behavioral health services, and housing services on campus.

“VA would like to thank non-profit organizations AyZar Outreach and Inner-City Law Center for their partnership in bringing these tiny shelters to West Los Angeles campus.  The tiny shelters are an important addition to the CTRS initiative,” said Dr. Steven Braverman, Director, VAGLAHS.

The Community Engagement and Reintegration Service (CERS), which oversees this initiative and all other programming for homeless Veterans in the Greater Los Angeles area, is implementing policies to assign interested Veterans experiencing homelessness to these shelters. VA is concurrently working with partners to secure the delivery of additional shelters over the coming days.

“AyZar Outreach is committed to serving those in need and is very pleased to be part of this important initiative to provide homeless Veterans another stable, clean, and comfortable living option on the VA WLA Campus.  Our sincere hope is that the shelters will provide its occupants a stable launching pad from which to begin their journey to health and fulfillment,” said Shirin Zarkesh, Founder and CEO, AyZar Outreach.

If you know a homeless or at-risk Veteran who could use VA services, call the WLA Campus Welcome Center at (310) 268-3269.  Veterans in crisis should call 1 (800) 273-8255 and press 1.

For any media queries, please contact the VAGLAHS Office of Public Affairs at (310) 268-3340 or at VHAGLAPublicAffairs@va.gov.  Media interested in covering the story of the tiny shelters may call to arrange for a tour and interview with a VA employee who works with our CTRS initiative.

ABOUT VAGLAHS: VAGLAHS is one component of the VA Desert Pacific Healthcare Network (VISN22) offering services to Veterans residing in Southern California.  VAGLAHS consists of two ambulatory care centers, a tertiary care facility and eight community-based outpatient clinics.  VAGLAHS serves Veterans residing throughout five counties: Kern, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.  There are approximately 1.4 million Veterans in the VAGLAHS service area.  For more information, call (310) 268-3340 or visit us at www.losangeles.va.gov.  Veterans in need can call the VA hotline toll-free at 877-4-AID-VET.    

ABOUT AYZAR OUTREACH: AyZar Outreach is a California non-profit organization with a mission to help level the playing field for those in need and positively impact deserving lives in ways that wield lasting impact.  For more information about AyZar Outreach, visit ayzaroutreach.org.

ABOUT INNER CITY LAW CENTER: Inner City Law Center (ICLC) is a non-profit poverty-law firm serving the poorest and most vulnerable residents of Los Angeles.  ICLC is committed to fighting for justice for individuals experiencing homelessness, low-income tenants, working-poor families, immigrants, people living with HIV/AIDS or other disabilities, and homeless Veterans.  The only legal services provider located in Skid Row, ICLC advocates for equitable housing policies and provides legal services to prevent and end homelessness.  For more information about ICLC, visit innercitylaw.org.

Community Awareness Safety Tips from Brentwood Community Council & South Brentwood Residents Association

Due to a recent increase in break-ins and mail theft in South Brentwood, BCC & SBRA wanted to make sure that all residents had a handy guide on

1. How to handle break-ins and mail theft if you experience them

2. Provide information on what organizations to reach out to with regard to homelessness in the area.

Also, please register your bike(s) on bikeindex.org to aid in them being returned to you if they are located after being stolen

Councilmember Mike Bonin: Help for Renters ~ August 28, 2021

Councilmember Mike Bonin
Fighting to make sure people don’t lose their homes is one of my top priorities. If you are a tenant in Los Angeles and you are worried about how to make ends meet, help is on the way

This week, the City Council approved a new program that will expedite rent relief payments and expand the pool of tenants and landlords eligible for rent relief. Starting September 1, Los Angeles residents can apply online for rent relief payments via HousingIsKey.com, or phone the appointment call center at 833-687-0967.

If you have already applied for the city’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program but have not been approved, you may need to apply again via the Housing is Key website (If so, your application will be given expedited, priority status.) You can check the status of your application, and learn whether you will need to reapply, here. If you have been approved for rent relief through the city program, you can expect to receive the funds within approximately 6 weeks.

Eviction Protections
In the City of Los Angeles, the moratorium I fought for protects you from eviction during the state of emergency and for one year after it ends if your income has been impacted by COVID. Your landlord also cannot evict you for non-payment of rent for reasons related to the pandemic, or for unauthorized occupants, pets, or nuisances, such as increased noise. Landlords can’t charge interest or late fees on unpaid rent, and they can’t conduct “no fault” evictions, where you are forced to leave to make room for a resident manager or a relative of the property owner. To avail yourself of these protections, you must make sure you have declared you are impacted by COVIDThis form makes it very easy.

I wish this were a rent forgiveness program, but it’s not. You will still owe back-due rent when the pandemic is over, and if you can pay it now, you should. Tenant advocates strongly urge renters to pay at least 25% of their rent. That will allow you to take advantage of a state law that will convert the rental debt into consumer debt, which cannot be a cause for eviction later.

Because these protections are afforded by the city, they are not affected in any way by the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down the federal eviction moratorium.

Other Protections
At my urging, the Los Angeles City Council froze rents in rent-controlled units for the duration of the pandemic, and for one year after that. The City Council also just approved a new Tenant Anti-Harassment ordinance, which went into effect on August 6.

Resources for Tenants
There are plenty of resources available to help you navigate the maze of different rules and programs from different levels of government. Stay Housed LA is a great umbrella resource, with a good breakdown of the rules and information, as well as offering “Know Your Rights” workshops and assistance in filling out rental relief applications. Other great resources are the Coalition for Economic Survival and the Eviction Defense Network.

Resources for Homeowners and Landlords
There is relief for landlords and homeowners, too. Landlords who take part in the state Emergency Rental Assistance Program will now receive 100% of the rental debt owed to them, instead of the 80% previously arranged. If you are a previous participant of ERAP who agreed to forgive the remaining 20% of the outstanding balance, you can look forward to a check for that amount. For property owners with a mortgage, you can sign up here to be notified about the availability of federal mortgage assistance funds through the American Rescue Plan.

If you have any issues accessing the above programs, please contact my office: 213-444-3508.

Warm regards,

MIKE BONIN
Councilmember, 11th District 
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P.S. Even though many City facilities – including my offices – remain physically closed to the public, my staff and I are at work and available to serve you. If you want to reach us, please call 213-444-3508. It is a new central number that allows you to reach us even when my staff is telecommuting. You can also contact us, and you can call 311 to request basic city services. We are committed to continuing throughout this public health crisis the work we do every day to help solve problems in our neighborhood. 
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“Kuehl Happenings”- Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s Weekly eMail Newsletter: L.A. County Supervisory District 3 – 8.7.21

August 7, 2021
Since mid-June, COVID-19 cases in the United States have increased by almost 550%. Deaths, on the other hand, have barely increased. At face value, this is perplexing. But, in reality, it’s simple: Vaccines work. Getting vaccinated remains the single most effective way to prevent death and severe illness. 
 
Supervisor Janice Hahn and I believe LA County can’t just talk about the importance of vaccinations, we need to walk the walk. That’s why we’ve introduced a motion for next week’s Board Meeting that will require LA County’s over 100,000 employees to provide proof of vaccination or receive weekly COVID-19 testing.  It also asks our CEO to report back on steps we can take with our workforce to push strongly for them to be vaccinated and meet the October deadline in Board Chair Solis’ executive order.  It’s a strong message that we intend to protect our workforce and the public they serve with the best defense against COVID-19. 
 
Last week, my office partnered with Pacoima Beautiful, Councilmember Monica Rodriguez, State Assemblymember Luz Rivas, and several healthcare sponsors for a pop-up vaccination clinic at Pacoima City Hall. I’m very happy to report that 277 people got their shot. Every person who gets vaccinated lessens transmission, new variants, and more suffering from this virus, so I’m sincerely thankful to everyone who helped put on the event and to all those who showed up to get their vaccination. 
 
We live in a country with an abundance of vaccines available to everyone. LA County has developed a simple search tool to help those wanting to be vaccinated find the most convenient way to do so, including pop-up or drive-thru locations, locations at school or public transit stations, and walk-in options.  And it’s free!8.6.0   
VENICE BEACH ENCAMPMENT TO HOMES8.7.3 As of this week, 211 people experiencing homelessness have moved from encampments on Venice Beach and into interim housing. 
 
A strategy based on compassion and backed by research that rejects both shortsightedness and indifference is always the right way to go, even when it’s unpopular. No one gains when we punish people for experiencing homelessness, it simply further complicates  their already challenging circumstances and cuts them off from the services they desperately need. 
 
ReadHow LA cleared most Venice Beach homeless camps and sheltered many unhoused people
 
We can move mountains when we work together. I’m very very grateful to St. Joseph’s Center, Safe Place for Youth, PATH, the LA County Department of Mental Health, Venice Family Clinic, LAHSA, Mayor Garcetti, and Councilmember Mike Bonin. I look forward to continuing our collaboration on this effort, because, unlike some others, we understand that moving people off the streets or the boardwalk doesn’t mean the job is done. We have to continue to work together until everyone has a place to call home and the support they need to stay there. 8.5.7   
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT: MEET YOUR NEW PET! 
He or she is out there, you know: the one. So let LA County’s Department of Animal Care & Control be your matchmaker and help you find the perfect pet! 
 
Love At First Sight is a streamlined adoption process designed to improve customer experience, reduce wait times, decrease the length of shelter stay for adoptable animals, and optimize the use of staff time. 
 
With Love At First Sight, members of the public are able to self-schedule appointments on DACC’s website to visit one of its seven animal care centers. During their visit, potential adopters will be able to view all the available pets and adopt on a first-come, first-served basis. Animals that are spayed or neutered and available that day are listed as “Ready to Go Home.”
 
Whether you’re smitten with kittens, dying for a dog, or even heart-eyed for horses, our shelters have a variety of adorable, adoptable animals just waiting for their love connection. See them all here! 8.5.7   
HUNGRY? WE’RE HERE TO HELP. 
The pandemic isn’t over, and neither is the food aid provided by LA County and our charitable partner, the LA Regional Food Bank. To date, we’ve provided over 6 million meals to the residents who need them, and we’re not stopping any time soon. 
 
Just this week, Team Kuehl was in Santa Monica and served over 724 households! 
 
Need help? You can check out a calendar for upcoming giveaways in your area here and find additional resources or ways to get involved at covid19.lacounty.gov/food. 8.6.0   
A TREASURE TROVE IN THE TAR 
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is home to evocative sculptures, bold paintings, riveting photography, and…. Ancient fossils? 
 
That’s right, with the excavation of the David Geffen Galleries underway, fossils have been uncovered and turned over to LACMA’s neighbor and resident expert on the topic, the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum. Learn more about the significance of these discoveries from curators, archaeologists, and project managers in this informative interview!
 
And remember, both LACMA and the La Brea Tar Pits are once again open to the public, so plan your day to wander and wonder at these fascinating LA County destinations!8.6.0  Have a happy and safe weekend!


  
 
Meet Lilly, a lovable calico in need of a forever home after being fostered by a member of Team Kuehl. The vet says she’s in great health and is around six years old. Great with dogs and non-aggressive cats.

Enjoys sunbathing, chasing toys and treats, and snuggling in the early morning to let you know it’s breakfast time.

Call (213) 254-5544 or email nswiatek@bos.lacounty to learn more.

Mayor Eric Garcetti: State budget has big benefits for Los Angeles ~ 7.13.21

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti
Governor Newsom has just signed the state budget, which, because of our historic budget surplus, will make key investments in our economic recovery and continue to ensure we leave no one behind. Thanks to our Los Angeles legislative delegation, our City secured some big wins. I want to thank our delegation and Governor Newsom for the important resources that will be coming to our community to address homelessness, housing, economic recovery, climate change, and more. 
Here are some of the exciting provisions that will help Angelenos:
$12 billion over the next two years to tackle homelessness, including $2 billion that will go directly to cities, and $2.75 billion in additional funding for Project Homekey, which will allow the purchase of additional hotels and motels for our unhoused neighbors
$8.1 billion for the Golden State Stimulus, which will put $600 directly into the pockets of Californians making under $75,000
• An expansion of Medi-Cal to include undocumented residents age 50 and older
• An additional $1.5 billion in small business assistance grants with a set aside of $50 million for microbusinesses and sidewalk vendors
$2 billion to help customers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power who are behind on their electric and water bills
$35 million for Universal Basic Income pilot programs with special emphasis on foster youth, which will build on the work we are doing in the Justice Budget
• Approximately $54.4 million directly to the City of L.A. to help us expand summer youth employment opportunities
$120 million over three years to support legal services for renters and homeowners most at risk of eviction or foreclosure

In addition to these bold statewide investments, our state legislators were able to secure funding for communities and projects across the City of Los Angeles, including:
$2 million to support the City’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development program
$11 million for the Potrero Canyon Pacific Coast Highway Pedestrian Bridge
$5 million for improvements at Rio de Los Angeles Park, including establishing a farmers market
$4.4 million for the Southeast San Fernando Valley Roller and Skateboard Rink in Sun Valley
$3.25 million to revitalize the Canoga Park Arts District
$6.5 million to advance Destination Crenshaw in South Los Angeles through infrastructure and public art improvements
$2 million for renovations to Salazar Park in East Los Angeles
$2.3 million to upgrade pedestrian access and finalize a complete streets project at the Louise Avenue U.S. Route 101 freeway overcross in Encino
$14.9 million for restoration of the Breed Street Shul
$5 million for the Colorado Bridge Undercrossing East Bank River Way Project
$15 million to support the University of California, Los Angeles Labor Center
$10 million to support the Museum of Tolerance, which aims to help residents understand the Holocaust and the history of bigotry and discriminiation  

These funds — and many more — will help us expand and implement programs that will have lasting, positive impacts on our City and our communities.
I want to thank our state legislative delegation: Assemblymembers Bloom, Rivas, Friedman, Gabriel, Nazarian, Carrillo, Santiago, Bryan, Jones-Sawyer, Burke, Gipson, Muratsuchi, O’Donnell, and Valladares and Senators Hertzberg, Durazo, Portantino, Allen, Stern, Kamlager, Gonzales, and Bradford, for securing these investments and many others.Their steadfast support of the City of Los Angeles during these challenging times has been critical, and we are grateful to them for crafting a budget that provides Los Angeles with the means to tackle the challenges ahead.
Eric Garcetti
Your Mayor
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Councilmember Mike Bonin: The Truth 5.12.21

I am fighting to aggressively house people so we no longer have encampments on our sidewalks, or at our parks and beaches. 
 
That statement might sound surprising if you’ve heard some of the crazy rumors spreading on social media, talk radio, and even some television coverage. Some are claiming I have proposed that the city allow homeless encampments at our parks and beaches. That rumor is not true. On the contrary, what I have proposed is designed to reduce encampments, so that our public spaces can return to full public use. 
 
What I am proposing is this: While we step up efforts to house people, the city should conduct a feasibility analysis of whether a number of different locations, including LAX land and three beach parking lots, could be used for different types of temporary emergency shelter. I have also asked that the feasibility analysis consider whether two local parks with existing encampments could restore the bulk of recreational space to public use by designating a certain area for existing unhoused residents. In all cases, the proposed solutions would provide security, sanitation and services, and focus on getting people into housing.
 
These are not encampments. They are an emergency response—an alternative—to encampments, and they are temporary solutions meant to get people off the streets and into homes.
 
My priority is on long-term and interim housing. This week, we opened 44 new units of housing in a former motel in Westchester. Next month, we will open 33 more units at a former motel in Venice. Yesterday, Governor Newsom announced billions in state dollars that I hope can be used for the range of solutions we need: short-term rental subsidies, master leasing apartment units, shared housing, converting motels into housing, building new units, reunifying people with their families, expanded health care and mental health services, substance abuse programs, job training and more.
 
In the meantime, I want to identify potential locations, if needed, for emergency interventions, like cabin communities, safe parking, and designated camping areas with security, sanitation, and services. And I want to make sure we are exploring potential sites in all parts of the district, and not just in some communities. This is very different than encampments. You can check out the photos below.
 
There is no need greater than to end our homelessness crisis. There is no demand bigger than to make sure our sidewalks, parks and beaches are not filled with encampments. The way to address the need and to satisfy the demand is the same — provide the housing and services the governor’s proposal funds.
 
If you would like to read more about what we are doing to address homelessness, please visit here.
 
Regards,

MIKE BONIN
Councilmember, 11th District 
Paul grew up on the Westside, fell into homelessness on the Westside, and last week, moved into supportive housing on the Westside. Watch Paul’s story and find out more about the people being helped by the Project Homekey effort we opened in Westchester in May 2021. We don’t need to be a city of sidewalk encampments. We can be a city that houses people.


SHOW LESS

Watch here:

https://youtu.be/8m8uXYv19PU
Motel and hotel conversions, like the recently-opened Project Homekey site at a former Super 8 motel in Westchester, can help change lives. Watch the video to learn more. 
P.S. Even though many City facilities – including my offices – remain physically closed to the public, my staff and I are at work and available to serve you. If you want to reach us, please call 213-444-3508. It is a new central number that allows you to reach us even when my staff is telecommuting. You can also email us, and you can call 311 to request basic city services. We are committed to continuing throughout this public health crisis the work we do every day to help solve problems in our neighborhood.

Westside Bulletin: News from the Mayor’s Rep – 4.9.2021

Here are some of the latest updates on important news for our community. 

Included in this week’s Westside Bulletin: Mayor Garcetti’s State of the City Address, COVID-19 Updates, FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance, HCIDLA Emergency Renters Assistance Program Update, HCIDLA Programs for First-Time Homebuyers, LADWP Nonprofit Grant Opportunities, and Business Relief

STATE OF THE CITY

Please join Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday, April 19, 2021 at 5:15 p.m. for the virtual 2021 State of the City Address. You can watch the live broadcast on Channel 35 and @MayorofLA on Twitter and Facebook

COVID-19 UPDATES

Here are the facts you need to know:

  • ELIGIBLE NOW: Vaccinations are now open to all California residents 50 years or older.
  • ALSO ELIGIBLEResidents between 16 and 64 years old who have certain disabilities or severe underlying medical conditions are also eligible. L.A. County has opened vaccinations to janitorial and custodial workers and public transit workers and dedicated public works employees who are responding to emergencies. Vaccinations remain open for those who were already eligible: teachers and workers in education and childcare, restaurant workers, food and agriculture, and emergency services on the eligibility list, residents 65 and older, healthcare workers, certain essential frontline workers, and residents and staff of skilled nursing facilities.
  • UP NEXT: Beginning April 15th, LA County residents aged 16+ will be eligiblePlease note: The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine currently authorized for teens ages 16 and over.The Moderna and Janssen Johnson& Johnson vaccines have been authorized in individuals 18 years of age and older. 
  • ‘MOVE’ VACCINE EQUITY PROGRAM: Our MOVE initiative is deploying mobile vaccination clinics to the most vulnerable parts of Los Angeles. We’ve partnered with trusted community organizations to administer over 64,431 shots –– about 90 percent of which have gone to people of color. 
  • EXPRESS LANE: An express lane at Dodger Stadium is serving customers of Access Services, the agency that provides transportation to Angelenos with disabilities. Access riders can book their appointment (pending availability) as well as a round-trip ride to Dodger Stadium by calling (626) 532-1616.
  • BY THE NUMBERS: The City of Los Angeles has administered over 901,731  vaccine doses at our City-run vaccination sites and mobile clinics, skilled nursing facilities, and fire stations.
  • VACCINATION SITES: More than 540 locations are currently vaccinating people in L.A. County. As more doses become available in the coming months, more sites and providers will administer shots. When your turn arrives, you can make an appointment and bring your ID to the site. If you are 65 or older, have a disability, or do not have access to the internet and need assistance making your vaccination appointment, you can contact the County’s Call Center –– open from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. –– at (833) 540-0473. You can also talk with your doctor about getting vaccinated.
  • NOTIFY LA: The City will occasionally send targeted text updates about new appointment availability to communities with high cases of COVID-19. To receive text updates, sign up for Notify LA
  • STAY INFORMED: It can be challenging to keep up with ever-changing vaccine news. Get key information by signing up for email updates from the L.A. County Department of Public Health or getting automatically notified when you become eligible for the vaccine. Tell your friends and family to sign up for this VaxFacts newsletter or follow us at @MayorOfLA on Twitter. You can check out our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more. 

FEMA COVID-19 FUNERAL ASSISTANCE

FEMA will begin accepting applications for Funeral Assistance on Monday, April 12, 2021 through our dedicated call center. More information will be available on this page soon.

HOUSING + COMMUNITY INVESTMENT DEPARTMENT UPDATES

2021 COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

The City of Los Angeles, in partnership with the State of California and the federal government, has created a new emergency rental assistance program to assist residential renters who have been unable to pay their rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To be eligible, a household must be obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling and meet the following requirements:

  1. Residents of the City of Los Angeles, regardless of immigration status. To verify you live in the City of Los Angeles go to: neighborhoodinfo.lacity.org;
  2. One or more individuals within the household have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship dues, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 outbreak; and
  3. The household income is at or below 50% of the area median income (AMI), prioritizing those under 30% AMI 
Family Size
Income Level1 Person2 Persons3 Persons4 Persons5 Persons6 Persons7 Persons8 Persons
Extremely Low (30%)$23,700$27,050$30,450$33,800$36,550$39,250$41,950$44,650
Very Low (50%)$39,450$45,050$50,700$56,300$60,850$65,350$69,850$74,350

Eligible applicants will be chosen through a random selection process to participate in the program. The program is required to give priority to paying past-due, unpaid rent. If selected, the program can pay 80% of a tenant’s past-due rent for the period of April 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021, but only if the landlord agrees to waive the remaining 20%.

If a landlord does not agree to these terms, the program can pay 25 percent of the tenant’s past-due, unpaid rent, as well as up to 25 percent of the tenant’s upcoming future rent, for 3 months. These rules are in alignment with regulations established by Senate Bill 91.

Applications for landlords and tenants open on Tuesday, March 30th, at 8am and will remain open until April 30, 2021, 11:59pm. For more information and frequently asked questions, please visit hcidla.lacity.org.

HCIDLA Programs to Assist First-Time Homebuyers

The Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) is offering programs to assist first-time, low-and-moderate-income homebuyers purchasing homes in the City of Los Angeles with down payment, closing costs, and acquisition financing. For more information, click here.

LADWP COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP GRANTS

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is now receiving applications from local non-profit organizations for the 8th Round of Phase II of its Community Partnership Grants.  The focus of these grants is on hard-to-reach residential and commercial customers in traditionally underserved communities, and the grants will fund efforts to help these customers improve their energy and water efficiency while also serving to reduce their utility bills. 

The grant program offers up to 18 grants totaling $1,030,000 according to the following allocations:

  • eight to twelve grants in varying amounts totaling $700,000 for Under-Represented Program Areas: Energy Efficiency & Water Conservation;
  • two $90,000 grants for Water Conservation;
  • two to three grants ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 for Water Quality;
  • and one $50,000 grant for Community Solar.

LADWP will evaluate applicants based on past performance with behavior-impacting programs and how their proposals address local needs, cost-effectiveness, and tracking methods. The deadline for submitting the application is Friday, April 16, 2021 by 3:00 p.m. and must be sent to nonprofitgrants@ladwp.com. The complete announcement and application can be found here.

 

BUSINESS RELIEF

COVID-19 Personal Care & Retail Recovery Grant

In 2020, LISC LA and other public and private partners created a REGIONAL RECOVERY FUND and deployed $100MM to ~7,500 entities. In 2021, the County of LA, in partnership with LISC LA, is deploying new rounds under the Fund: KEEP OUR SHOPS ON THE BLOCK: PERSONAL CARE AND RETAIL RECOVERY GRANT. $10,000 grants to personal care and retail businesses based in the County of Los Angeles, excluding the City of LA. 470 grants will be deployed. Apply today! Applications are open until Sunday, April 11th at 11:59PM and more information is available here.

Small Business Stabilization Loan Program

Los Angeles County has launched the Small Business Stabilization Loan Program designed to provide eligible businesses with a competitive interest rate for loans ranging from $50,000 to $3 million.. The Program offers technical assistance from partners who offer complementary online webinars, one-on-one financial consultations, application assistance, and an evaluation of a business’ readiness to submit an LACDA loan application. For more information on the requirements to apply for the Small Business Stabilization Loan Program, please visit BizStabilization.lacda.orgThe Small Business Stabilization Loan Program will accept applications through April 16, 2021, or until $20 million in funding requests is received, whichever occurs first. Technical assistance is available in various languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), and Korean. 

FEDERAL UPDATES

PPP Extended:

President Joe Biden signed the PPP Extension Act of 2021 into law on March 30, extending the Paycheck Protection Program an additional two months to May 31, 2021, and providing an additional 30-day period for the SBA to process applications that are still pending.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant:

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Application opened Thursday, April 8, 2021. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Please click here for more information, and to apply.

Eligible entities include:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives

Other requirements of note:

  • Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements
  • Must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020
  • Venue or promoter who received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount.

Federal Taxes:

The IRS has now delayed this year’s Tax Day to May 17, 2021. However, this date change does not apply to estimated tax payments due on April 15, 2021; small businesses and individuals responsible for quarterly estimated tax payments must still make those payments by April 15.

New and updated, is the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) a refundable, advanceable tax credit on employee wages that is available 2020 and all of 2021. For 2020, it offers a total maximum credit $5,000 per employee. Looking ahead to 2021, the new American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) recently extended the period of eligibility for the ERTC to include all of 2021, versus a previous Q1 and Q2 limit. Since savings are up to $7,000 per employee per quarter in 2021, that’s a total maximum savings of $28,000 per employee in 2021.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) tax credit for paid sick leave and family leave has also been extended by ARPA. The program originally expired at the end of March but now lasts until the end of September 2021. The maximum size of this tax credit for family leave is now $12,000 per employee.

Free PPE for Small Businesses

The PPE Unite™ program is a joint effort to give small business owners and their employees access to much-needed personal protective gear. This public and private partnership program creates access to PPE, promotes PPE use, and provides additional resources for businesses. We need to work together to safely reopen our local economy for the health of our businesses and the general public. Get your 30 day supply of free Personal Protective Equipment to keep your business compliant and employees safe. Sign up now to get PPE while supplies last.

 

L.A. Optimized

LA Optimized provides individualized tech support to help small businesses adapt to the digital marketplace. The program helps businesses create or optimize websites, increase online sales, create business listings, and access branding and marketing help.

Open For Business

Open For Business is designed to support local restaurants and stimulate economic activity in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. Open For Business provides Los Angeles restaurants commission-free digital ordering tools to expand contactless options for customers, as well as access to an over $1 million marketing budget to incentivize customers to order.

BusinessSource Centers

Technical assistance for COVID-19-related business loans and grants. Click here for more information.

RESOURCES

RENTER PROTECTIONS

HCIDLA: COVID-19 Renter Protections

FREE LEGAL SERVICES

INFO: LA Represents

COVID-19 Testing

SIGN UP: Free COVID-19 Testing

HOMELESS SERVICES

GET HELP: 

PARKING CITATION ASSISTANCE

LADOT: Payment Relief Options

Please forward this along to anyone who may find it useful. As always, if you have questions about anything mentioned in this email––or if the Mayor’s Office can help you with something else––please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

Best, 

Brad