The city of Los Angeles is launching its $235.5 million rent relief program on March 30, opening applications for both landlords and tenants.
While the pool of funds is twice as large as the city’s last rent relief program, city officials expect it will not be enough to meet demand, according to the L.A. Times.
The program is designed to help tenants cover back rent accrued during the pandemic and in turn help landlords. It’s funded with federal coronavirus relief dollars.
Tenants can apply directly or landlords can apply on their behalf. Because officials believe the funds will be exhausted, the city will select applications at random.
The state launched a similar program this month and received 20,000 applications within a day.
Priority is given to households with incomes less than 30 percent of area median income. The AMI for L.A. County is $70,700 for a family of four.
Selected tenants can potentially wipe out all of their back rent accrued from April 1 of last year through March 31, but only if a landlord agrees to forgive 20 percent of the total.
In that case, the city would pay the landlord the remaining 80 percent, but if the owner refuses, the tenant would receive funding worth 25 percent of their rent arrears.
Paying one-quarter of back rent by June 30 prevents a tenant from being evicted for non-payment, per the state’s eviction moratorium. Remaining back rent is converted into consumer debt, which cannot be grounds for eviction.
[LAT] — Dennis Lynch