It is no mystery the depth of suffering brought on by the Covid 19 pandemic. For many LA County residents, the possibility of losing shelter as tenants or homeowners has been a very real fear. There is however help on the way. The ethnic/community media sponsored by LA County’s Joint Information Center on COVID’s recent briefing focused on housing. Speakers provided crucial information to residents across LA County about their housing/tenant rights, available rent stabilization programs, and the “Stay Housed LA” initiative.
Studies reveal that 120,000 LA County homes are at risk for eviction during this pandemic due to loss of income shared Supervisor Sheila Kuehl of the Third District, LA County Board of Supervisors. Fortunately, an eviction moratorium has been extended through June 30th with the likelihood of further extension as needed. This protects mobile home tenants and commercial homes. Also provided are advice, rent support, and eviction defense for those who need it. The new state rent relief program for tenants affected by the pandemic also notes that people who lost jobs and have fallen behind on their rent may not be proficient in English. They also are aware that lack of trust is a major factor and so the county with that in mind is partnering with community grassroots organizations, to get the word out to bring help and services to these communities.
Rafael Carbajal, Director, LA County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs shared actions to take care of vulnerable communities as a result of the pandemic. Because foreclosures and evictions profoundly affect families economically, and emotionally, the board in extending the moratorium since March is offering help to tenants and landlords as well as providing Know Your Rights, and foreclosure programs. LA County has launched a foreclosure prevention and loan relief program starting April 12. Relief counseling resources up to 4million for mortgage relief are included as well as free counseling. To find out how to qualify for these resources call 888-895-2647
Dana Pratt, Deputy Director, LA County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs shared the commitment to assist vulnerable tenants and protect them by overseeing the county’s eviction defense program. Focus is placed on the most vulnerable including senior citizens, and higher-income residents who lost their jobs, and never thought they could need such assistance. Helping struggling homeowners, the moratorium protects them if they are unable to pay rent due to the Covid pandemic. They will not be penalized with late fees, rent increases, and residential tenants are protected from evictions as well. It is a lifeline for those at risk of losing their homes. Landlords and tenants can apply using a desktop computer or smartphone or by calling 833-430-2122, 833-223-7368. The services are free regardless of immigration status.
Jenny Delwood, Executive Vice President, Liberty Hill Foundation shared that her program is focused on informing low-income tenants about their rights, provide resources to exercise rights.
- through creating awareness and providing information to tenants vulnerable to eviction.
- organize Know Your Rights workshops for you for ten weeks in multiple languages.
- provide legal services to low-income tenants
- they have connected with 208,000 tenants since August and assisted over 9300 tenants with legal assistance and counsel
How To Access
Visit www.stayhousedla.org. Learn about the laws and sign up for workshops. The target is most vulnerable to eviction and people that rent and are facing an active housing crisis.
Dr. Eloisa Gonzalez MD, MPH, Director, Cardiovascular and School Health, LA County Department of Public Health gave the most recent updates on the Covid pandemic. Progress is being made she said, and extensions to ages 16 and older begin April 15th. Noting that all the vaccines are effective, inequities continue to persist though at a lower rate. Latinos and blacks have much lower vaccination rates than their white counterparts. The goal is to decrease these numbers and increase access to communities of color by bringing the vaccines to the locations where they live. For ages, 16-17 Pfizer is the only approved vaccine.
Dr. Eloisa also dismissed the misinformation out there in the communities, one of the most common being a vaccine microchip to get your information into a database which is untrue and vaccines do not make you sick. To find out more and clear any misinformation visit the website at www.vacunatelosangeles.com or www.cdc.gov. No vaccines contain a live virus that causes covid-19 and the only database that exists is a digital record of your vaccination like the white card which is your official record.