County Offers Help With Eviction, Foreclosure, Dispute Resolution, Homelessness Prevention
The economic toll of the Covid 19 pandemic has hit many families nationwide crippling families that would otherwise be thriving during ordinary times. With loss of jobs an income Angelinos are not exempt from feeling the effects of the economic hardship brought on by the pandemic.
In a zoom conference recently hosted by Ethnic Media Services (EMS), county officials shared much needed information on resources available to tenants and homeowners during these trying times.
Deputy Director of Housing & Tenant Protections Division at the Department of Consumer & Business Affairs, Dana Pratt acknowledged, “It’s no secret that we live in one of the most unaffordable housing markets in the nation, with more than half the county’s resident being referred to as ‘rent burdened,’” quoting a UCLA study finding that at least 365,000 renter households don’t have an adult who is either employed or has sufficient replacement income to pay rent. Pratt also pointed out that the moratorium on rent since March 4th and set to expire on January 31, is only a temporary solution and although you can’t be evicted for falling behind on your rent, you still owe it. “It’s a rent deferral, not a waiver,” she said. To get more information about what you need to do Pratt recommends checking with counsellors for guidance at (833) 223-7368 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and other resources available at rent.lacounty.gov and lacountyhelpcenter.org.
Other speakers including Deputy Director of Housing & Tenant Protections Division at the Department of Consumer & Business Affairs, Azusena Favela decried the proliferation of “cash for keys” flyers in South LA urging caution to those desperate enough to want to consider such options. Her recommendation is to call counselors for assistance before making any such decisions at (833) 238-4450 or check the department’s website stayhousedla.org.
Speaker, Maritza Gutierrez, Chief of Mediation & Counseling Division for the Department of Consumer & Business Affairs expressed her concerns and offered reassurance that there is help for those who seek it. For more information please reach out to (800) 593-8222.
Finally Emilio Salas, Acting Executive Director of the LA County Development Authority, described four other programs aimed at housing help which can be accessed through calling the office as well. There are resources for emergency rent relief on different levels and for different income brackets.