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Los Angeles Launches ERAP to Prevent Homelessness Amidst Rent Crisis

United to House Los Angeles Program Offers Vital Rental Assistance

By Dolores Quintana

The United to House Los Angeles (ULA) has launched the Emergency Renters Assistance Program (ERAP), with applications opening from September 19, 2023, at 8:00 a.m. until October 2, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. This program, initiated by the City of Los Angeles, aims to provide vital rental assistance to low-income residential renters facing the risk of homelessness due to unpaid rent stemming from COVID-19-related or other financial hardships.

In response to the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Los Angeles has established this new rental assistance program under the United to House Los Angeles (ULA) measure. The program is designed to aid households struggling to make rent payments and facing potential homelessness. To qualify, applicants must meet specific criteria.

The ULA ERAP will cover unpaid rent for up to six months. To be eligible for assistance, households must:

  • Reside within the City of Los Angeles, regardless of immigration status. Residents can verify their eligibility by visiting neighborhoodla.org.
  • Have experienced a loss of employment, reduction in household income, significant expenses, or other financial hardships between March 2020 and the present.
  • Owe unpaid rent to their current landlord for any month(s) between April 1, 2020, and the present.
  • Maintain a current household income at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI).

Please note that participants in Section 8 housing choice vouchers, Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH), or those residing in project-based Section 8 or public housing are not eligible for this program.

Priority will be granted to applications from households with incomes at or below 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI) who owe unpaid rent starting from April 1, 2020, through September 31, 2021. Applicants not meeting these priority criteria may be processed at a later stage.

Subsequently, applications will be considered based on the following criteria:

  • Households with minor children, seniors aged 65 and above, or individuals with disabilities.
  • Households experiencing an extreme rent burden, where more than 50% of the total household income is allocated to rent each month.
  • Households at high risk of homelessness, including those with overdue rent or eviction notices, unsafe living conditions, or other indications of imminent homelessness.
  • Households for whom up to six months’ rent will satisfy their entire rental debt or who have arranged an affordable repayment agreement. The program will cover a maximum of six months of unpaid rent, and the financial assistance will be remitted directly to the landlord. Tenants are strongly advised to communicate with their landlords and provide accurate contact information to ensure the smooth processing of their applications.

For further information and to access the application form, visit the ULA ERAP website. Residents in need of assistance can apply online, via phone or in person.

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