On Tuesday, the City of Los Angeles is launching a program to provide financial assistance to low-income renters at risk of homelessness. The Emergency Renters Assistance Program is designed to provide relief for those who have been unable to afford rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic or other hardships. The new rental assistance program is funded through the United to House Los Angeles (ULA) measure, which uses sales tax revenue to support qualifying individuals. Eligibility for the new program will be determined by whether a household was obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling and meets all requirements.
Through Measure, ULA funds, often referred to as the “mansion tax,” renters are encouraged to utilize the application period and apply online at housing.lacity.org or call 888-379-3150 anytime M-F between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. The program will provide qualified people with up to six months of rent assistance. Residents of Los Angeles will be eligible for assistance under the following requirements as presented by the LA Housing Department:
- All applicants must be residents of Los Angeles, irrespective of immigration status. Visit neighborhoodla.org to verify if you reside within city limits.
- One or more household residents must have been subjected to unemployment, incurred substantial expenses, suffered a reduction in household income, or experienced other financial hardship between March 2020 and the present.
- Applicants must have unpaid rent owed to their current landlord for one or more months from April 2020 to the present.
- The applicants’ household income must be 80% or less of Area Median Income (AMI).
As part of the program’s launch, the general manager of the LA Housing Department, Ann Sewill, will be hosting a virtual news conference to provide further details and answer questions. All services and programs funded through Measure ULA will support qualifying Angelenos requiring help paying back rent.
Measure ULA, or the “mansion tax,” is a sales of 4% on properties over $5 million and a sales tax of 5.5% on properties over $10 million. All revenue from Measure ULA is collected and embarked for building more affordable housing units and renter protections, such as eviction defense and rental assistance programs. As outlined by Measure ULA, A $150 million plan was front-funded by the LA City Council in August to support affordable housing and fund tenant protections.
The LA Housing Department is set to launch the Emergency Renters Assistance Program because many Los Angeles residents currently face eviction because they are working to pay back rent. While there were tenant protections to cover back rent accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic from March 2020 to September 2021, those protections ended on August 1. For all rent accrued between October 2021 and January 31, 2023, tenants will have an extended window to February 2024 to pay.
The LA Housing Department will also introduce an online portal to offer financial support for mom-and-pop landlords on October 23. For landlords who own 12 or fewer units, the LA Housing Department requires them to apply with the city.