Most people in the city of Los Angeles rent and with pandemic protections for renters expiring earlier this year, many have been left struggling to pay back-rent that had been protected under the county’s COVID-19 Tenant Protections Resolution.

If you’re in this situation there is a new program to help pay your back-rent. Paid for through Measure ULA funds, the City of LA Housing Department opened the “emergency renters assistance program” on Sept. 19. 

Through the emergency renters assistance program you can get up to 6 months of back-rent paid down, for missed payments from April 2020 — with the money paid directly to your landlord on your behalf.

However, act quickly, because the application web-portal closes on October 2 at 6:00 p.m. You can find an application either online, by phone or in person.

For services and assistance over the phone you can call the “We Are LA” hotline at 213.584.1808 Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or the Los Angeles Housing Department Hotline 888.379.3150 Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

There are also 15 physical locations listed at where you can make an appointment to apply in person. Days and times vary across the list.

To qualify for the program you must have a household income at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI). You or someone in your household must also have experienced a loss of employment, reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship between March 2020 and now.

However, people who receive Section 8 vouchers, Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing or living in project-based Section 8 or public housing are in-eligible.

According to the operator at the LA Housing Department Hotline a great many things can qualify as financial hardship, such as car repairs, or medical debt, but you must be able to prove such financial hardship.

Households at or below 30% AMI will be given priority, as well as those with children, people with disabilities or elderly  people over the age of 65.

To apply and determine your eligibility you must know

  • How many months of rent you owe and the total amount.
  • The name of any rental assistance program you may have used and the number of months paid.
  • Your monthly household income for the entire household..
  • Your landlord’s contact information such as their phone number, email address, or the contact information of the management company you pay rent to.

you must also provide the documents listed below

  • Proof of identification, such as a government-issued identification card with a photo.
  • Proof of residential tenancy, such as a rental agreement/lease, a notice issued by your current landlord, utility bill, etc.
  • Proof of current and past due rental amount, such as a rent receipt, rental ledger, etc.
  • Proof of household income, such as a tax return, 1099, or employer contact information, etc.
  • Proof of financial hardship such as loss of employment, reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or other financial hardship between March 2020 and now.

Don’t forget that all renters in LA City have protections which prevent your landlords from evicting you without a legal reason. 
Do you have questions about your housing situation or need some advice? We may be able to help you at our Renter’s Hotline. You can reach the Hotline at 323.200.9539 Or you can submit your questions here and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can, you may even be featured on our podcast.

Amanda is a journalist born and raised in SELA, where you can find her playing tennis at a local park or taking her cat out for a walk.