On Tuesday, March 30, the city of Los Angeles launched a new Emergency Renters Assistance Program for both low income tenants who are behind on their rent payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and landlords who have tenants unable to pay rent. Applications will be accepted through April 30.
According to a city press release for the program:
“Households must meet the following program requirements to qualify for renters assistance:
1. Residents of the City of Los Angeles, regardless of immigration status.
2. One or more adults within the household have experienced unemployment or a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to the COVID-19 pandemic;
3. The household income is at or below 50% of the area median income (AMI). Priority will be given to households with incomes at or below 30% of AMI.” (See chart below.)
Tenants and landlords can apply together for the program, or – if a landlord declines to participate – renters can apply on their own. For joint applications, the city says: “Landlords can initiate applications for tenants in arrears. Assistance amounts will be based on the amount of back rent owed.” Also: “Program payments will be made to landlords to reimburse 80% of eligible renters’ unpaid rent accrued between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, however, the landlord must agree to waive the remaining 20% of the unpaid rent for that same period of time.” And for tenants applying withut their landlords, “payments will be limited to 25% of the unpaid rent that was accrued between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, as well as financial assistance to pay 25% of up to three months’ future rent from April – June 2021.”
Online applications are encouraged at http://www.hcidla.lacity.org. A call center is also available “for persons with limited online access,” at (833) 373-0587. And “TTY will service is available for persons with hearing or speech impairments.” Application forms and phone support are available in several languages.
The program opened early, on March 15, to renters who had applied for the city’s 2020 Emergency Rental Assistance Subsidy program, but did not receive assistance then. These renters were allowed to update their applications for the new program.
New applications received between March 30 and April 9 “will be selected through a randomized process to determine the order of review. Applications received from April 10th through April 30 will be selected through a second randomized process.”
Also: “Priority will be given to tenants who earn less than 30% of the area median income and to households who have experienced long-term unemployment.”
- Whether or not landlords and/or tenants participate in the ERAP, “all tenants impacted by COVID-19 are still protected by both city and state emergency renter protections currently in effect.”
- Renters must live in the city of Los Angeles. Addresses can be verified at neighborhoodinfo.lacity.org.
- LA County residents outside the city of Los Angeles can apply for rental assistance through the State of California, at housingiskey.com.
For more information, the online application links and an extensive FAQ, see, see hcidla.lacity.org. Questions can be sent to Ask-HCIDLA.
Finally, HCID will be hosting a live webinar about the program, broadcast on HCID’s social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) on Tuesday, April 6, at 1:00 p.m. A recording of the session will also be available on those pages after the livestream.