LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion authored by Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District, to explore the feasibility of the County acquiring low-income residential tenant rental debt.
“Today’s motion demonstrates that as a County, we will explore strategic options to leverage federal rental assistance funding to address the financial burdens low-income communities are facing in Los Angeles,” shared Chair Solis. “As we continue on our path to recovery, we want to ensure that our low-income residents who have historically faced racial and economic injustices are able to emerge stronger from the pandemic without being suppressed by the mounting rental debt accrued during the pandemic.”
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) allocates approximately $211 million in federal funding earmarked for rental assistance directly to the County of Los Angeles. The State of California received additional federal rental assistance funding that will be allocated to local governments.
The passage of today’s motion directs County Counsel, in consultation with Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, the Los Angeles County Development Authority, and the Chief Executive Officer, to report back in 45 days on: the estimated average fair market value of residential COVID-19 rental debt owed by a low-income tenant whose landlord has refused to accept rental assistance; the total estimated residential COVID-19 rental debt owed by all tenants in Los Angeles County; the total estimated need for prospective rental assistance for tenants eligible for ARP Emergency Rental Assistance funding under the federal guidelines; the estimated number of tenants in Los Angeles County with landlords that own fewer than five rental units, five to nine rental units, and ten or more rental units; all legal options the County may pursue to fully eliminate all residential COVID19 rental debt, including options for landlords to relinquish COVID-19 rental debt in exchange for fair compensation and/or fair market value; and viable funding sources, including ARP Emergency Rental Assistance funding, to fund the County’s potential acquisition of rental debt incurred by low-income residential tenants.
To view the full motion, click here.
Stephany Villaseñor, Communications Deputy, (213) 308-9017 or SVillasenor@bos.lacounty.gov