Rent relief underway for L.A. County residents

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Los Angeles County renters facing financial hurdles due to the COVID-19 pandemic can soon apply for rent relief through a county priority list to receive support if eligible, and some Santa Clarita Valley residents are expected to qualify. 

The move comes as the county Board of Supervisors created a coronavirus rent relief program with $100 million in federal CARES Act dollars. The program is aimed at helping more than 9,000 households, county officials announced Wednesday.  

“Every person has been affected but COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted our most vulnerable communities,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the SCV, said in an interview broadcast. “Industry experts like the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. note that the majority of those facing unemployment make less than $50,000 a year. To address this, the Board of Supervisors took action to utilize funding provided to the county through the federal CARES Act spending plan to fund a broad range of services to support residents and our businesses.” 

The county program also comes after the Santa Clarita City Council extended protections against evictions for residential and commercial tenants citywide through Aug. 31 after their unanimous vote in mid-July. 

The rent relief application period opens Monday, Aug. 17, and is scheduled to close Aug. 31. The L.A. County Development Authority is tasked with managing the funds, which will be paid directly to landlords for rental income on behalf of their tenants through a participation agreement, according to the program details. 

Half of the funds will go toward targeted ZIP codes the county has identified where residents are most in need. The county’s map highlights multiple areas in the SCV, under “Service Provider Area 2,” for its program, including some in Canyon Country, Castaic, Newhall and the city of Santa Clarita. 

“Renters not listed in targeted ZIP codes may still apply if they meet the eligibility requirements, with the exception of residents living in the city of Los Angeles, as the city also received its own allocation of CARES Act funds and has its own programs for city residents,” according to the county Development Authority’s website. 

Those struggling to pay their rent and living on 30% of the median income may qualify for up to $10,000, and $7,500 for those living on 50% of the median income. For example, households with a total gross income, including money earned by those 18 years of age or more, at or below $45,050 with two people or $56,300 with four people may qualify.  

Citizenship documentation will not be requested from any party (renter or property owner), according to program details. 

To check eligibility and to apply, visit 211la.org/lacounty/rentrelief or call 211. 

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