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LA Received 221,000 Applications For Rent Relief

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A woman walks in front of a Koreatown apartment complex displaying a now leasing sign. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Los Angeles’ rent relief program received 221,000 applications, according to Housing and Community Investment Department spokesperson Sandra Mendoza. The intense demand comes as tenants have been struggling to keep up with rent in recent months.

The program, with $103 million in funding, is projected to assist just 50,000 households.

Applicants who were selected in a lottery have received notification, according to HCID’s Mendoza, and will need to provide documentation. Those who qualify but were not selected will be placed on a waitlist. Applicants can check their status online.

While the number of applicants includes duplicates and households outside city limits, it reflects the intense demand for government assistance during a worsening pandemic. HCID’s website struggled under the volume of traffic it received after the application portal opened. (A program to provide cash assistance to Angelenos this spring also drew hundreds of thousands of applicants and crashed HCID's website.)

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The rent relief program provides low-income households with up to $2,000 towards rent if they’ve lost income due to the pandemic. The money goes straight to landlords, with a maximum of $1,000 per month. Landlords have to agree to accept the funds.

While advocates have said they welcome the assistance, in a region with a huge shortage of affordable housing and where low-income renters were already severely rent-burdened, it won’t meet the need. There are an estimated 880,000 renter households in Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Census. For many, $2,000 is less than a single month’s rent.

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