LOS ANGELES – A program aimed at assisting Los Angeles renters with back owed rent will begin accepting applications on Sept. 19.
The Los Angeles City Council approved guidelines and an expenditure plan for money raised by the Measure ULA “mansion tax,” last month.
The program will cover up to six months of rental arrears. To be eligible, a household must be obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling and meet the following requirements: be a resident of the city of Los Angeles, one or more individuals within the household must have experienced a loss of employment, reduction in household income or experienced a financial hardship between March 2020 and now, have unpaid rent due for any months between April 1, 2020 and now, and the current household is at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI).
The council voted 10-0 to approve Mayor Karen Bass’ proposed funding plan, which increases the amount earmarked for tenant protection measures. In a statement, Bass said the council approval comes at a “critical time” when tenants across the city are facing eviction.
“In order to successfully confront this homelessness crisis, we have to ensure that we are doing all we can to prevent Angelenos from falling into homelessness in the first place,” Bass said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “I want to thank Council member (Nithya) Raman and the rest of the City Council for taking this important action. Now, we must turn to ensuring that these resources reach those who need them most.”
Tenant protections for back rent accrued during the coronavirus pandemic between March 2020 to September 2021 ended on Aug. 1, and many Angelenos may face eviction as they work to pay any missing rent. According to the guidelines, programs and services will be geared toward Angelenos who need to pay that back rent.
For rent that accrued from October 2021 to Jan. 31, tenants have until February 2024 to pay.
“With over 44,000 Angelenos without a permanent home in the city of Los Angeles and with evictions surging, the need for these funds has never been more pronounced,” said Councilwoman Nithya Raman who chairs the Housing and Homelessness Committee.
Measure ULA, also known as the “mansion tax,” is a 4% sales tax on properties exceeding $5 million, and 5.5% sales tax on properties exceeding $10 million. The revenue from the sales tax is collected and earmarked for renter protections, including protections for low-income seniors at risk of homelessness, rental assistance programs and building more affordable housing units.
“I am pleased to see that the first $150 million from this significant new revenue stream is now on its way to doing the work the voters intended,” Council President Paul Krekorian said in a statement. “Among other things, these funds will assist rent-burdened families and seniors, and expedite construction of affordable multifamily housing on city-owned land. This is exactly what was promised when Angelenos voted for Measure ULA, and now that promise is being fulfilled.”
For more information and to apply for the program visit https://housing.lacity.org/.