Could not pay housing costs due to COVID? You may be eligible for LA’s new rent assistance program

On Wednesday, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and city council members announced a new plan to remove all rental debt accumulated by low-income households due to the pandemic. This means that if you could not pay rent due to COVID-19 and you earn below a certain income, the state will pay it all for you. You can submit an application from September 1st.

You qualify if:

  • Your problems with paying rent are a result of the pandemic. So for example, you were fired because of COVID-19 or took time off to care for a sick family member, or so your hours go by because of the financial downturn.
  • You live on the outskirts of Los Angeles.
  • Your income is no more than 80% of the area’s median income for a household of your size. The state calculates this when you apply, so if you think you can qualify, you must submit an application and the state will notify you.

How much of your refund rent is covered?

If you meet the criteria above, your entire pandemic rental debt will be paid to your landlord. If landlords for some reason do not want to participate, tenants can receive the payments directly and use the money to pay rent back.

Can landlords apply?

Yes, but landlords need cooperation from tenants who have forgotten payments to show that they meet the eligibility criteria.

Did LA not already offer rental assistance?

Yes. The application period for a similar city-run program closed in April after all the money was talked about, leaving tens of thousands of qualified applicants and tenants without help. This time, the state will administer the program so LA gets access to a larger pool of funds and disburses the money faster. The goal is to help any eligible applicant who was shut out last time, plus any new qualified applicants.

Where to apply and when to get your money

You can apply for assistance from 7 Wednesday, September 1 on HousingIsKey.com. Residents can also reach the appointment call center at 833-687-0967 for assistance completing the application. Tenants who have already applied for the city’s program will receive detailed instructions on the next steps, according to city officials. More information is available at hcidla.lacity.org.

According to officials, they are close to reaching a 30-day timeline between applying and getting money in hand.

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