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LA City Council Passes Program To Help Residents With Back Rent

Graffiti on a wall on La Brea Ave. in May amid the Covid-19 pandemic. (Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)
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With renters owing thousands of dollars in back rent since the pandemic started, the L.A. City Council today announced an additional $259 million for its COVID-19 Emergency Renters Relief Program. That's more than twice what it provided last year.

The average renter owes between $4,000 and $7,000, according to City Council President Nury Martinez.

To qualify, your combined household income must be at or below 50% of the median income – for a family of four, that's about $56,000.

Martinez said the program is aimed at those who are most in need:

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"I know the daily struggle of the working poor people who have worked for decades to escape poverty. Working in back of houses, in restaurants, looking after other people's children and working in factories, all of this, only to run into the risk of facing it again during this crisis."

The relief program can pick up 80% of your back rent if your landlord agrees to cover the remaining 20%. If the landlord doesn't agree, the program will cover one-quarter of your back rent and one-quarter of your upcoming rent for the next three months.

The application window opens at 8 a.m. on March 30 and runs through April 30. Renters and landlords can apply by phone with L.A.'s Housing and Community Investment Department, or via its website at

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