LOS ANGELES - Two Los Angeles County supervisors Monday called for an audit to determine why a rent-relief program for small property owners who are owed back rent accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to be implemented, despite being approved nine months ago.
The Board of Supervisors approved the program on Jan. 24, directing the county Department of Business and Consumer Affairs to distribute $45 million to "mom-and-pop" landlords who are owned back rent. But according to Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Holly Mitchell, the program still has not begun, with neither applications nor program guidelines being made available.
"Delaying the disbursement of relief funds to mom-and-pop property owners is simply unacceptable," Barger said in a statement. "The motion I introduced included an expectation that this landlord relief program would be launched expeditiously. We've missed the mark and small property owners are bearing the brunt of DCBA's delays."
Barger and Mitchell called on the county CEO to conduct an audit to identify reasons for the delay, with results expected in the next two weeks.
"It has been almost a year since the board approved the motion to create a Small Property Owner Relief program to equitably provide financial assistance to qualifying landlords that have been hit hardest by the pandemic," Mitchell said in a statement. "Every day we wait, more Angelenos are being evicted or becoming at risk of being evicted. Our shared constituency is counting on us to get this done, and we must do all we can to prevent more residents from being displaced."