LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved a motion authored by Supervisors Hilda L. Solis, First District, and co-authored by Sheila Kuehl, Third District, on increasing participation in the State’s emergency rental assistance program.

On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 was signed into law. ARPA established the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA 2), and authorized the direct allocation of funds to states, the District of Columbia, units of local government, territories, and high-need grantees. On June 28, 2021, the State of California adopted AB-832, establishing a State-administered rental assistance program to manage ERA 2 funding on behalf of participating jurisdictions. On November 2, 2021, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted a motion authorizing the County to participate in the State’s Rental Assistance Program for ERA 2 and notified the Treasury of the Board’s intent to have the State of California administer the ERA 2 program funds on behalf of the County. The emergency rental assistance programs provide relief for low-income tenants with rent and utility arrears between the months of April 1, 2020, through March 31, 2022.

“I am thankful to Governor Newsom and his administration for rolling out a successful program which has been very effective in distributing critical rental assistance to our most vulnerable in the County,” said Supervisor Solis. “However, it is disheartening to still see very low participation of tenants and landlords in hard-hit communities like East LA and parts in the San Gabriel Valley, which indicates that more work needs to be done to increase participation. With over 66,000 unhoused residents, tackling our housing and homelessness crisis remains the County’s number one priority. If you’re in need of rental assistance, I urge you to please visit stayhousedla.org or call 1-888-694-0040 as soon as possible.”

As of February 15, 2022, the online “dashboard” for the state-administered rental assistance program indicated that 234,869 applications had been received from Los Angeles County. However, data suggests that many eligible tenants and landlords in the County have not yet applied for assistance. For example, the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey suggests that there may be hundreds of thousands of additional households with rent debt that are likely eligible for ERAP but have not applied. Furthermore, few of the County’s 1.1 million low-income rental households have applied for prospective rental assistance.

“The state announced last week that it would stop accepting applications for its COVID rental assistance program at the end of March, so we are putting our pedal to the metal to make sure that every eligible LA County resident has a chance to submit an application,” said Supervisor Kuehl. “There are potentially tens of thousands of eligible renters who have not yet applied for assistance and we have to reach them in the next few weeks so they can get the assistance they need to help them rebound from the economic hardships caused by the pandemic.”

The motion approved today directs the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) and the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) to immediately expand and supplement current outreach and awareness efforts to increase participation in the emergency rental assistance programs by March 31, 2022 deadline. The motion additionally directs LACDA and DCBA, working with community partners, to bolster existing efforts to ensure that tenants have one-on-one assistance with completing emergency rental assistance applications that are submitted prior to the March 31 deadline. Furthermore, the motion authorizes LACDA and DCBA to supplement current expenditures with whatever funds are necessary to achieve the goals outlined in the motion.

To view the full motion, click here.