Garcetti’s wishlist for LA includes expanded rent relief

Mayor’s state of city address focused on post-pandemic recovery, including “comeback checks” for small businesses and $1B for homeless services

Los Angeles /
Apr.April 20, 2021 08:55 AM
Mayor Eric Garcetti (Getty, County of Los Angeles)
Mayor Eric Garcetti (Getty, County of Los Angeles)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s post-pandemic priorities include expanding rent relief for tenants and landlords, and awarding small business grants, along with plowing nearly $1 billion into homeless services.

Those were among the highlights in Garcetti’s state of the city address on Monday, which came a day before the mayor will submit his proposed budget to the City Council, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

Garcetti also proposed a program to issue $5,000 “comeback checks” to 5,000 small businesses, according to the report. The money could be used to pay off debt, meet payroll, buy new equipment, essentially, anything to fuel recovery following a devastating year.

A separate $1.9 million program would help restaurants in low-income neighborhoods set up outdoor dining accommodations.

With renters will suffering amid the pandemic, Garcetti wants to boost the city’s rent relief program with an additional $300 million from the federal government, more than doubling its current $235 million funding.

Residents began applying to the existing rent relief program late last month, which guarantees landlords 80 percent of back rent accrued by their tenants since the pandemic. Landlords must agree to forgive the remaining 20 percent of the total amount a renter owes.

The Council is also exploring some options that could impact renters and landlords. At the Council’s direction, the city will study a potential rent freeze on properties with expiring affordability covenants.

The Council earlier this year also set a target to buy 10,000 existing affordable units citywide by 2030. The Council is also considering an ordinance aimed at preventing landlords from threatening or harassing tenants in a variety of ways. Councilman Gil Cedillo proposed that measure.

Also in his state of the city address, Garcetti proposed a moratorium on new oil and gas drilling in the city, and said the Department of Water and Power would have 80 percent renewable and 97 percent carbon-free energy by 2030, six years ahead of a previous target date.

[LADN] — Dennis Lynch 


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