Los Angeles City Council votes to create renter assistance fund amid coronavirus crisis

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted on Wednesday to create a fund to financially assist tenants during the coronavirus pandemic.  

"Our Renters Relief Fund is a program the city has expertise in executing, given our efforts in 2019," said Council President Nury Martinez, referring to a similar fund set up last year to assist people who fell through loopholes in a state bill that capped rents.  

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"With this pandemic, low-income Angelenos, including undocumented immigrants, are hurting."  

Martinez dedicated $1 million from her council district discretionary funds as seed money for the fund, Councilman Mitch O'Farrell also contributed $1 million from his district and Councilman Herb Wesson put in $150,000.  

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Other funds, including federal block grants and private donations, are also expected to be utilized for the program, Martinez said.   The Los Angeles Housing and Community Development Department will be in charge of creating and administering the fund.   Martinez said she wants to see the program established, funded, and running by the time the pandemic state of emergency ends.  

The City Council also voted to approve several resolutions calling for state and federal funds and policies to help residents overburdened by the pandemic, in particular renters and property owners and homeowners.