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 Local Advocacy Update
THE LOCAL ADVOCACY UPDATE
By Danielle Leidner-Peretz,
DMirector, Government Affairs & External Relations
arch, it is the month in which we City of Los Angeles: For information about the City spring forward and await the onset of Los Angeles’ rental relief program, which has an of Spring’s bloom and the sense of application period of March 30, 2021 through April optimism that it generally brings 30, 2021, please refer to the following webpage: with it. Emergency Renters Assistance Subsidy Program
  March 2021 is uniquely significant because it is the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, related government response and the myriad of emergency measures that were put in effect. As we stand at the one-year mark and assess the situation so many factors remain unknown, yet as the vaccine continues to be rolled out and local restrictions are eased cautious optimism is in the air.
This month, the State’s COVID-19 Emergency Rent Relief program, pursuant to Senate Bill 91 (SB 91) was established, enabling rental housing providers to receive 80% of an eligible renter’s total unpaid rent owed from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 from the Program if owners are willing to agree to waive the remaining 20% owed during that period. Rental housing providers and renters alike were able to initiate an application via the State’s website at CA COVID-19 Rent Relief - Housing Is Key beginning on March 15, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
It is important to note that under SB 91 localities were provided with three options for accessing and administering funds under the state’s rental relief program. For example, the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach are administering their own local programs. In addition, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties have opted for the dual program option in which the locality runs a local portion in combination with a state administered program. If you apply through the State’s website and your property is located in a locality that is administering a program locally, you will be re-directed to apply through the local website. If you are directed to a locality’s website and the application period has not opened and/or the application period has not been posted yet, we encourage you to check back with the local jurisdiction’s webpage regularly for updates.
Below is some information and links, related to the local programs in the Cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
(lacity.org). During the application period which will begin at 8:00 a.m. on March 30th, applications can be completed online, and a hotline number will also be available. Once a housing provider submits an application, their renter will be notified to complete the application process to determine eligibility.
City of Long Beach: For information on the City of Long Beach’s program, please refer to the City’s website: http://www.longbeach.gov/lbds/hn/ emergency-rental-assistance-program/.
Summarized below are some of the other issues that will be coming up, that were considered or that have been approved.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES – RECYCLA 6.15% RATE INCREASE
A RecycLA 6.15% rate increase took effect on January 1, 2021. At a time when the City’s rental housing providers have encountered inordinately high vacancy rates, severe reductions in rent collections, and increased per unit occupants and related increased utility usage and waste generation a rate increase was an unimaginable burden on rental housing providers, many of whom have been exhausting their savings and/or borrowing money to cover building operating expenses.
In early February, prompted by a motion advanced by Council Member and Committee Chair O’Farrell, the matter was discussed by the Los Angeles Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice and River Committee (Committee). Due to the Association’s continuous advocacy efforts, the Committee recognized the challenging financial circumstances that rental housing providers have been under throughout the pandemic. The Committee directed the RecycLA Service Providers (RSPs) to return with thoughtful solutions and/or recommendations to assist rental housing providers.
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