Nearly 50,000 Los Angeles families hurt by the economic and health fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could get help from a $100-million rent relief program passed by the City Council on Tuesday.
The money would provide up to $2,000 in rental assistance for low-income households who have lost work, fallen ill or had to assist sick family members during the crisis.
“I am reminded every day during this ongoing pandemic that people, especially those in disenfranchised communities, are struggling,” City Council President Nury Martinez, who authored the measure, said in a statement. “This program will help tens of thousands of Angelenos, and that’s wonderful news.”
The efforts aims to address the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, which has led to a nearly 21% unemployment rate in L.A. County. While the $100-million effort is the largest passed by any U.S. city to help tenants pay their rent, it would still fall short of reaching all who have been affected by the pandemic in Los Angeles. According to one estimate by UCLA’s Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy, for instance, about 365,000 households countywide have lost their jobs, do not have access to unemployment benefits and are at risk of losing their homes once anti-eviction moratoriums expire.
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