San Fernando Valley : Bond Issue to Help Quake Victims OKd

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to issue $25 million in tax-exempt bonds that will be used to lower mortgage payments for victims of the Northridge earthquake who are struggling to rebuild.

The vote represented the third time the council has used the financing mechanism to help quake victims.

According to housing officials, the biggest problem in financing quake repairs for many apartment buildings was that landlords could not afford to pay off a repair loan while also paying off a mortgage loan.

Gary Squier, head of the housing department, said the bonds will be used to refinance the mortgages on as many as 16 apartment buildings. The bonds will provide mortgage rates of about 7.25%, allowing the building owners some breathing room to pay off other repair loans that the city has provided.

The cost to the city to administer the plan is $544,000.

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