Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti announced a $100 million rental assistance program for residential apartments to help both tenants and landlords. Any tenant who can’t pay their rent can apply, and the money will be given directly to their landlord.
“The landlord gets to keep the apartment and help continue to be able to own that and keep that community wealth here in communities of color and small businesses, at the same time that renters don’t have to feel the stress of an eviction after this ends or anything else,” Mayor Garcetti said. “So there are no evictions during this time.”
Some of the $100 million will go toward legal defense.
“If any landlords act unscrupulously after this crisis to try to illegally evict people, the people would have a defense,” he said.
Mayor Garcetti is hoping to roll out the program in early July. He estimates that the $100 million will help Angelenos for several months before it runs out.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, tenants have struggled to pay rents and landlords have struggled to pay mortgages.
“It’s a really, really tough moment. People are suffering,” Mayor Garcetti said. “Often these ‘camps’ don’t see eye to eye. This is a moment when I think we should see eye to eye.”
Without relief, banks can seize apartment complexes from landlords who default on their loans. Mayor Garcetti said banks need federal assistance now so this doesn’t happen.
“Let the banks give relief to our mortgage holders, and those mortgage holders in turn give relief to our tenants, commercial and residential, across America,” he said. “Otherwise the system will start to collapse.”
If nobody pays their rent or mortgages, people will lose their unit, their apartment building, or their commercial property.
“Remember: These are not usually all a bunch of Wall Street, wealthy corporations,” Mayor Garcetti said. “They’re mom and pops, often working class folks who have saved up and scraped by, so there’s really mutual interest in renters who are suffering so greatly and those mom and pop landlords or commercial landlords and businesses that have been hard-hit to find relief.”
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