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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."
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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