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Housing and Homelessness

LA Councilman Kevin de León: Tenants Need Rent Relief, Now.

A women in a red t-shirt and black mask holds a sign above her head that read "CANCEL RENT" as other march with her.
De Leon called for "a commitment to rise to the challenge of this unprecedented crisis."
(DAVID MCNEW
/
AFP via Getty Images)
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An L.A. city councilman is pressing the city to speed up rent relief payments to Angelenos facing financial hardships because of the pandemic.

Councilman Kevin de León introduced a motion Friday that would direct the L.A. Housing Department to expedite payments to the tens of thousands of renters who've applied for help.

The city received $236 million in the first round of funding, and at a press conference at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights, de León said the city expects to receive another $260 million in the second round. However, only $35 million has been distributed so far.

"The problem we face is not a problem of funding. Rather, our problem is the lack of urgency and creativity and a commitment to rise to the challenge of this unprecedented crisis," said de León.

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The motion calls for a report from the Housing Department on what it would take to process and pay all pending applications by Oct. 1, when current eviction protections expire.

It also calls for a re-opening of the rental relief application process, which was closed in April, and the creation of a multilingual outreach program to offer help with applying.

De León said that in his district alone, 8,500 people applied for assistance, but only 182 have received funds so far.

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