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Via A Car Protest Through DTLA, Activists Call For More Protections For Renters

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Los Angeles has passed ordinances to protect renters and homeowners from eviction and foreclosures during the pandemic, but local activists say it's not enough.

A car protest that began in South L.A. and then drove through downtown, was part of a national day of action to demand rent and mortgage cancellations for people financially struggling due to the crisis.

Ernesto Huerta is an organizer with the Party for Socialism and Liberation. He says groups like the National Lawyers Guild and Women's March agree that solely delaying rent and mortgage payments doesn't go far enough.

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"People can still be evicted after the moratorium is lifted. About 36% of this country are renters. 64% percent have to pay a mortgage, and they can't afford to do that anymore."

Landlord groups argue that they cannot afford the outright loss in rent. Huerta says it's important for Angelenos to call for federal funding to help those affected by the pandemic.

The protest today came the same week the Los Angeles City Council voted to create a program to help people pay their rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently funded at just $2.2 million, the fund is available to tenants making 80% or less of their area's median income.

  • Tenants will have to document the economic toll the pandemic has taken on their finances.
  • Money paid out will go directly to landlords, and will cover up to half a month's rent, with a maximum of $1,000 per month and $3,000 over the life of the program.

How many people could be helped? The report on the plan estimated it could help several hundred families.

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