|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.
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 COVID. This 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.
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.
Councilmember, 11th District
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.