Mayor Eric Garcetti and Council President Nury Martinez have announced a new partnership between the City of Los Angeles and the State of California that will allow Angelenos to access additional state and federal rental assistance funds. The move will ensure that all qualified applicants who have already applied for assistance are able to access funding, and allow Angelenos who have not previously applied for funding to submit applications starting on Wednesday, Sept. 1.
“Every Angeleno who has had their livelihood upended by this pandemic and is in need of rental assistance should be able to get it, full stop,” said Garcetti. “COVID-19 has dealt a devastating blow to our residents, and it’s our responsibility as a government to help them weather this crisis. This partnership with the state builds on our local rental relief efforts to make it clear that every renter who is eligible for rental assistance will be able to access this program.”
“When the pandemic hit almost 18 months ago, the first action this Council took was to implement an eviction moratorium and committed $100 million to start the Emergency Rental Assistance Program,” said Martinez. “After creating the largest rental assistance program in the nation, I’m glad that we will be able to multiply our efforts by working with Gov. Newsom and the State of California to provide the funds and resources our residents need. I’m proud of this city’s advocacy for renters; no one should worry about losing the roof over their head during a pandemic.”
“We share the City of Los Angeles’ goal to ensure that every eligible renter needing rental assistance gets help quickly,” said Lourdes Castro Ramírez, secretary of the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. “We are prepared to build on the strong partnership with the city to get rent and utility assistance into the hands of Angelenos most in need during these perilous times.”
The new agreement will allow Angelenos to tap into the $5.2 billion in emergency rental relief funds the State has received from the Federal government, ensuring that all renters and landlords who are eligible for the relief will receive it. Under the new framework, the state will be responsible for processing applications and distributing relief funds for Angelenos.
The city and the state will partner to conduct extensive outreach and education on the application opportunities for Angelenos, as well as outreach to individuals who have submitted applications but have not received assistance. Outreach will be conducted in conjunction with community-based organizations that will help address language barriers and reach residents who may have limited access to technology.
The latest announcement builds on the City’s efforts to support residential renters through emergency protections, eviction defense services, and investments in rental relief. Last year, the City led the largest rental assistance program in the nation, with the city council allocating nearly $100 million that the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) administered to more than 49,000 households in under six months. LAHD is currently administering the first round of federal assistance, with more than $69 million in payments out the door or on the way, and more than $196 million – or 83 percent of funds – obligated to renters with approved applications.
Los Angeles’ demand for rental assistance has far exceeded the city’s allocated funding, with $235.5 million received in the first round of funding compared to more than $500 million in rental debt reported in just the first year of the pandemic. The new partnership with the state will give Angelenos access to a much larger pool of resources and help to ensure that all qualified demand for assistance is met.
“In the past 14 months the Housing Department has approved over $335 million in emergency rental assistance to support tenants and landlords, but there is still tremendous unmet need. We are excited about this partnership to provide more resources to help all Angelenos recover from the financial hardships of the pandemic.” said Ann Sewill, general manager of the Los Angeles Housing Department.
“The State’s program will serve all Angelenos struggling with rent payments as COVID-19 continues to impact their livelihoods,” said Gustavo Velasquez, director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, the administrator of the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program. “HCD has a robust application infrastructure in place, partners on the ground to meet Angelenos where they are, and hundreds of case managers helping people statewide through the application process. We have ramped up to do everything in our power to make Angeleno renters and landlords whole.”
Los Angeles renters and landlords will be able to apply for assistance through the State program via HousingIsKey.com. Residents can also call the appointment call center at (833) 687-0967 if they need help filling out an application. Renters who have already applied to the city’s program will be provided with detailed instructions on next steps. More information is available at hcidla.lacity.org.