‘Those who need it the most are the ones who are not getting it’: Latino families urged to apply for L.A. rent relief

Local news

As the deadline for a rent relief program available to low-income tenants in Los Angeles swiftly approaches, community leaders took to the streets Monday to spread the word to families who have not been able to pay their rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A census program was initiated and we’ve seen tens of thousands of Angelenos, local residents, apply. But we’ve also seen a huge disparity in the number of Latinos families applying,” Councilman Kevin de León said at a Monday news conference. “Just as we saw with the vaccine rollout, those who need it the most are the ones who are not getting it.”

De León spent a portion of the morning canvassing a Boyle Heights neighborhood, going door-to-door passing out flyers to make sure residents know about the 2021 COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). The program funding is made up of a federal and state partnership designed to help Los Angeles renters who have been heavily impacted by the financial strains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The program is available to all low-income renters in Los Angeles, regardless of immigration status, officials said.

The city of Los Angeles is using a random lottery system to pick the applicants, and approximately 64,000 families are expected to benefit from the rent assistance.

The program is prioritizing paying past due rent from April 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021, and will grant up to $10,000 per household. Those renters in Los Angeles who are below 50% of the area’s median income will be prioritized, officials said. For a family of four, that would be a household income of about $56,000 per year or less. Those in a single-person household would have to make around $39,000 or less to be eligible.

People who have been unemployed for 90 days or more due to the pandemic can also apply. Landlords can also apply on behalf of their tenants.

The deadline to apply for the rent relief program is Friday at 11:59 p.m.

For more details on how to apply for the rent relief program, find out if you’re eligible or check the status of your application, visit hcidla.lacity.org. Anyone who does not have internet access can call ERAP hotline, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., at 833-373-0587.

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