Belmont Avenue Apartments in Echo Park
  • Subsidies are available only to tenants in the City of L.A. who meet low-income requirements
  • The subsidy will provide a grant of up to $1,000 per month, with a maximum grant of $2,000 per household
  • The grant will be paid directly to the landlord
  • Applications will be accepted through Friday, July 17

More than 150,000 people applied for the Los Angeles COVID-19 rent assistance program today, the beginning an application period that will continue through Friday.

The relief program is aimed at helping City of Los Angeles residential tenants struggling with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"We had a high volume, but remember this is not first-come, first- serve," Mayor Eric Garcetti said. "There are five days to make sure that, whether you do it online or on the phone, ... you can apply and make sure you're in the mix."

The program, with $103 million in available funds, is only anticipated to provide assistance to about 50,000 applicants. Since three times that many people have already applied, recipients of the benefit will be chosen at random at the end of the application period.

The application process for the Emergency Renters Relief Program will conclude at 11:59 p.m. Friday, said Ann Sewill, general manager of the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department, which is charged with administering the program.

Interested renters are encouraged to apply online at hcidla.lacity.org.

People with limited online access may call the Application Hotline at 844-944-1868, between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. People with hearing or speech impairments may call 844-325-1398 during the same hours.

The program is open to all renters, regardless of immigration status. However, only those who live in the City of Los Angeles can apply. 

The program will provide a rent subsidy for low-income tenants in the city of Los Angeles who are unable to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. HCIDLA officials are calling it the largest coronavirus-related emergency rental assistance program in the nation.

The majority of the funds -- $100 million -- come from the city's federal CARES Act stimulus money.

The subsidy will provide a grant of up to $1,000 per month, with a maximum grant of $2,000 per household, and will be paid directly to the tenant's landlord on behalf of the tenant. Eligible tenants are those whose household income is at or below 80% of the area median income.

The program was first proposed by Council President Nury Martinez and Councilmen Herb Wesson and Mitch O'Farrell. It is based on a program created last winter when some tenants allegedly were being "rent-gouged" before a state rent-control law took effect. The reinstated program deals with the health pandemic.

"The recovery will be hard enough without people having to worry about how to stay housed and put food on the table while meeting their financial obligations," O'Farrell said.

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