Many hardworking families throughout Los Angeles County are facing layoffs and a reduction in income. With over 40 percent of households spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing and 60 percent of all households with children struggling to put food on the table, it is vital to help families make ends meet. In response, the Board of Supervisors today approved a motion authored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis directing the County to send a letter to members of our state and federal delegation in support of a comprehensive rent and mortgage relief program for those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

“We are facing a public health crisis that is upending the lives of hardworking families, many of whom live from paycheck-to-paycheck. This unprecedented global pandemic requires unprecedented actions to protect vulnerable families who are on the brink of homelessness,” said Supervisor Solis. “My motion will bring relief to both renters and landlords who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and who are struggling to meet all of their financial obligations through no fault of their own.”

Today’s Board motion also directs pertinent County Departments to report back to the Board within 45 days on:

– tapping into Housing and Urban Development counseling agencies that offer services in foreclosure prevention; mortgage counseling, and financial literacy;

– identifying data sharing protocols in order to identify displacement trends;

– creating a referral process to help low- to moderate-income homeowners, as well as nonprofit organizations that serve vulnerable communities, more effectively leverage the County’s Foreclosure Prevention Services.

The motion also directs the Treasurer and Tax Collector (TTC) to report back to the Board within 45 days on:

– deferring the collection of property taxes and property assisted clean energy (PACE) tax assessments for no less than 12 months;

– suspension of new PACE loans for the duration of this crisis.

Further, the motion directs the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) and the TTC and other pertinent Departments to report back within 45 days on:

-implementing an outreach and awareness campaign to inform the public of fraudulent predatory practices targeting low-income homeowners and to refer any unlawful practices to the LA County District Attorney.

The motion also directs the County Executive Office’s Affordable Housing Unit, the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) and DCBA to report back in 45 days on:

-collaborating with HUD-approved counseling agencies to work with a residential property owner, before a default notice on their property is issued, to allow an opportunity to sell the property to either existing tenants, a community land trust, a nonprofit agency, or another mission-drive entity that preserves affordable housing units;

-researching on a right-to-purchase program that provides existing tenants, nonprofit organizations, or community land trusts and/or mission-driven affordable housing developers the first right to acquire residential properties so they can stabilize communities and prevent large-scale corporate purchases of residential properties;

-working with state and federal agencies to identify funding sources to help the County purchase properties in order to work with nonprofit organizations, or community land trusts and/or mission-driven entities that could convert single and multi-family housing into permanent affordable housing.

In addition, today’s motion also directs the Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services  (WDACS) and DCBA to report back within 45 days on:

-identifying nonprofit organizations that could provide probate counseling and could create a referral network to inform consumers of estate planning.

Lastly, the motion also directs WDACS and DCBA and other pertinent County Departments to report back within 45 days on how the $125 million in state disaster relief funds could offer relief to individuals in LA County, and in particular, how these relief funds could be leveraged with County resources to help undocumented immigrants.

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Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, Deputy Communications Director, rsantana@bos.lacounty.gov