LA City Council Unveils $100 Million in Proposed Renters'

LA Mayor Garcetti joined the LA City Council President and other City Councilmembers Wednesday to make an announcement about proposed legislation supporting renters going through economic hardships in the city amid the coronavirus crisis.

He was joined by Council President Nury Martinez, and Councilmembers Herb Wesson and Mitch O’Farrell to announce $100 million in proposed renters' relief efforts to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

City officials called it the largest renters' relief program of any city in the nation. The city is already the first in the nation to offer wide-spread testing to all residents with or without symptoms in April. 

Martinez said during the LA City Council meeting Wednesday afternoon she introduced a motion to place $100 million from the Federal CARES Act into the COVID-19 renters' relief fund. She said once approved, this $100 million in relief for the city of LA is not only for renters but also for landlords. 

"Tenants who cannot pay some or all their rent because of COVID-19 earning below 80 percent of the Average Median Income (AMI) can apply," according to a press release from the city of LA late Wednesday. "Once approved, funds will be paid directly to their landlords".

Martinez’ motion will be sent to the Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Recovery and Neighborhood Investment, before coming back to the City Council for a final vote.

"The virus has hit our city and county hard," Martinez said.

"There is no question that as we have saved lives, people's livelihoods have been hard hit. This pandemic has resulted in the highest unemployment in Los Angeles in our history - higher than in the Great Depression," Mayor Garcetti said. He said it's important to offer relief "immediately." 

Garcetti said the city "will take this coming month to make sure when this program stands up at the end of June or beginning of July, we are ready to help 50,000 Angeleno households representing at least 150,000 Angelenos to pay for the rent."

"There are people who are living paycheck to paycheck before the pandemic and now they are living day-by-day," Martinez said.  She said "they are fighting for their economic survival. "

“The purpose of Government is to protect its most vulnerable people and I’m proud that this Council will provide $100 Million to Angelenos who truly need it,” said Councilmember Herb Wesson in a press release. “This money from the CARES Act will allow some families to sleep a bit easier at night knowing that they won’t lose the roof over their head. When we have close to 39 million Americans unemployed and only 45% of Angelenos still have jobs, we need even more from the Federal Government. We need monthly payments, not just a one-time stimulus check. We need their help to cancel all rent and mortgage payments. We need them to bail out Main Street, not Wall Street. The Federal Government is the only entity that has the resources to meet these challenges.”