Advertisement

L.A. County offering money to renters affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Rodolfo Cortes holds a sign reading "STOP COVID-19 KEEP EVERYONE HOUSED" on a lawn outside El Monte City Hall
Rodolfo Cortes, 30, of El Monte and other tenant rights activists assembled in March at El Monte City Hall to demand that the City Council pass an eviction moratorium during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County renters who’ve suffered financial setbacks because of the COVID-19 pandemic can soon apply for thousands of dollars in assistance to help them get on top of their payments.

The application period for the income-based L.A. County COVID-19 Rent Relief program opens Monday and will remain open until Aug. 31. Up to $10,000 will be given to households that meet the program’s income guidelines.

The emergency rent relief is financed through $100 million in federal CARES Act money. Its goal is to help about 9,000 households.

Half of the available money will be directed to residents who live in specific ZIP Codes the county identified where residents are at higher risk of eviction. More information on those ZIP Codes is available online at rentrelief.lacda.org. The other half of the money will be available by lottery to residents who meet the program’s criteria for income and other factors.

Advertisement

The emergency rental assistance is open to L.A. County residents — who do not live in the city of L.A. — who have experienced a loss of income because their workplace closed or reduced hours; their child’s daycare or school is closed and they’ve had to spend more money on childcare; a household member is ill with COVID-19 and their family has had to pay medical costs; or, more broadly, a loss of income because of the government-ordered emergency measures put into place after March 13, according to the Los Angeles County Development Authority.

Households with a total gross household income at or below the following amounts may qualify: one person, $39,450; two people, $45,050; three people, $50,700; four people, $56,300; five people, $60,850. Your total gross household income is the money that all working adults 18 and older in your household make, before taxes.

To apply, a tenant must complete an online application at 211la.org/lacounty/rentrelief. If a tenant doesn’t have a computer, they can call 211 for help applying.

The program is open to all renters regardless of immigration status, and no one will be asked about their immigration status, as it is not considered in determining eligibility.

Advertisement

L.A. city residents are not eligible for the county program because the city also received an allocation of CARES Act money and offered its own emergency rent assistance.

Renters who receive Section 8 or Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers are also not eligible to apply. The program is also not open to commercial properties.

Only one application per rental unit should be submitted.

If a group of roommates share a home but have one lease, they should submit only one application. If each roommate has a separate lease agreement with their landlord, each can apply for the program if they are otherwise eligible.

Advertisement

A renter doesn’t have to be behind in rent to qualify but does need to have experienced a reduction in income related to COVID-19 and meet the household income eligibility requirements.


Advertisement