LA County CARES ACT Rent Relief Program is Now Open for WeHo Residents

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Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

The City of West Hollywood is getting the word out about the launch of the Los Angeles County CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Rent Relief program, which began earlier this week, on Monday, August 17, 2020. It will remain open for a two-week period, closing on Monday, August 31, 2020. The emergency rental assistance provided is intended to meet the needs of low-income renters who have struggled to pay their rent and/or who are behind on paying rent due to the economic impacts caused by the pandemic. Those who are most in need will be get more assistance.

The program is available to all residents of Los Angeles County who qualify, with the exception of residents living in the City of Los Angeles (as the City of Los Angeles independently received its own allocation of CARES Act funds). A W-9 form and participation agreement are needed from property owners to receive rental income on behalf of a qualified tenant; property owners must agree to the terms of the participation agreement. Citizenship documentation will not be requested from any party (renter or property owner).

West Hollywood residents can apply for assistance by contacting the 211 L.A. program via phone by dialing 2-1-1 or by visiting the website at 211la.org/lacounty/rentrelief. To be considered for this program, applications must be received Monday, August 31, 2020. A list of Frequently Asked Questions with more program details and additional resources for residents is available at rentrelief.lacda.org.

The City of West Hollywood also currently has a Residential Eviction Moratorium and Commercial Eviction Moratorium in place through Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The timeline remains subject to amendment and extension by the City Council. The moratoriums apply to nonpayment eviction notices served or filed on or after Monday, March 16, 2020 and will remain in effect through Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

The City remains in a declared state of Local Emergency at this time. Therefore, rent increases for rent stabilized units are not permitted in West Hollywood until 60 days after the City’s declaration of Local Emergency is lifted. Each year, by law, the City announces a percentage rate for an annual general adjustment (AGA), which is based on 75% of the Consumer Price Index for the area. For the period of September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021 the annual general adjustment is 0.75%. There is no current end date on the City’s declaration of Local Emergency and rent increases for rent stabilized units are not permitted at this time.

The City of West Hollywood regularly updates its Renters Resources and Small Business Resources webpage areas as part of coronavirus information available on the City’s website at http://www.weho.org/coronavirus. At this webpage area, community members can find up-to-date details about relief available during the coronavirus crisis on a variety of topics.

In addition, the City has produced two webinars with helpful information about each eviction moratorium. These webinar recordings can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5t3CTQP1K8 (Residential Eviction Moratorium) and at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r4vRWdei6k (Commercial Eviction Moratorium). This is part of regular programming on the City of West Hollywood’s WeHoTV YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv and broadcast on Channel 10 on Spectrum in West Hollywood.

The City of West Hollywood has declared a local emergency in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. When in public, community members should maintain your space with social (physical) distancing of at least six feet, and cover your face to adhere to City, County, and State requirements for the use of face coverings. Face coverings are not required for young children under two-years-old; children between two- and eight-years-old should only wear face coverings with adult supervision; and people with certain medical conditions are exempt from this requirement. Public Health officials recommend that everyone must continue to follow physical distancing and infection control directives and wear a clean cloth face covering that securely covers both your nose and mouth when in contact with other people not in your household.

The City encourages residents to remain home as much as is practical and limit close contact with others outside of a household. Additionally, people 65 years old or older and all people of any age with underlying health conditions should remain at home whenever possible; people in these categories should only leave their residences to seek medical care, exercise, or obtain food or other necessities.

West Hollywood City Hall is currently closed to the public and has suspended all in-person transactions. Most public City buildings, playgrounds, and facilities remain closed. City Hall remains accessible for business and essential services with transactions to be conducted by phone (323) 848-6400 and via the City’s website at www.weho.org.

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