L.A. County tenants impacted by COVID-19 can apply for rent relief starting next week

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Los Angeles County officials are launching a new rent relief program that will accept applications starting next week for residential tenants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning Aug. 17, income-eligible households financially impacted by the pandemic can apply for help paying their rent, according to the Los Angeles County Development Authority.

The program is open to all residents of L.A. County with the exception of the city of Los Angeles, which launched its own emergency rent relief program last month. The city’s initiative allocated a total of $103 million to an estimated 50,000 households, giving renters up to $2,000 in relief.

L.A. County tenants must complete an online application, which will be available on the county’s 211 website from Aug. 17 to Aug. 31. Tenants can also call the 211 hotline and a representative will complete an online application on their behalf. The hotline will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day during the application period, and there will be representatives to assist in different languages.

Landlords must also provide a W-9 and sign a participation agreement in order to have the rent paid on behalf of the tenant. The funding will be paid directly to the property owner.

Those who are currently at 30% of the median income can receive up to $10,000 and those who are currently at 50% of the median income can receive up to $7,500. Information on the median income and who qualifies can be found on the program’s FAQ page.

Residents who live in zip codes at higher risk of eviction and other socio-economic vulnerabilities will be fast tracked for assistance if they are at 50% or below the median income, according to the county. About half of the funding will be immediately given to such applicants that meet requirements.

For all other areas not considered high risk, renters at 50% of the median income or below can apply and will be assigned to a Service Planning Area based on their zip code. A formula that considers population, poverty and housing availability will be used to allocate the remaining half of the funding.

A lottery system will be used at the end of the application process.

Renters who receive Section 8 Housing Choice or VASH voucher are not eligible to participate in the program, which is open to renters of all immigration statuses.

The county’s Board of Supervisors approved $100 million in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds to provide rental assistance on behalf of tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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