The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Monday launched Stay Housed L.A. County, a countywide initiative to provide legal assistance and support for tenants facing eviction amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The launch included the release of StayHousedLA.org, a website connecting tenants with useful information about their rights, workshops for residents who need legal assistance, and other support.
Stay Housed L.A. County is a partnership between the County of Los Angeles, legal aid groups and community-based organizations to provide emergency support to tenants in need.
Virtual Know Your Rights workshops will also be offered by participating community organizations to provide L.A. County residents with critical information about permanent and emergency tenant protections that can help tenants facing eviction or other challenges related to their rental housing. Community organizations will provide targeted ongoing support to help tenants with case management support.
“As many residents face immeasurable uncertainty and grapple with health, mental health, and economic hurdles, we want to provide working families with as much stability and peace of mind as possible,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Board of Supervisors chair and 5th District representative. “By equipping at-risk tenants with the resources they need, Los Angeles County can ensure they stay safe, stay strong, and stay housed.”
“L.A. County, along with a number of cities, the state, and the federal government have all passed protections for tenants facing eviction due to the pandemic,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who authored the motion authorizing the creation of Stay Housed L.A. County.
“These protections only work, however, when people know their rights and can take advantage of the legal protections,” Kuehl said. “That’s the mission of Stay Housed L.A. County: To provide the information and legal representation people need to keep from getting kicked out of their homes while we weather this very challenging time.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had unprecedented and devastating impacts on far too many hard-working individuals and families across the County of Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “During this time – the last thing Angelenos should be worried about is losing their home. That is why we are standing up Stay Housed L.A. County.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic is upending the lives of hardworking families, many of whom live from paycheck-to-paycheck, which is why L.A. County has launched our newest tenant assistance program: Stay Housed L.A. County,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “Through this initiative, L.A. County will help renters stay in their homes and get welcome relief from the financial stress they are enduring in this crisis. I am committed to advocating on behalf of our rent-burdened households that face the threat of losing their homes due to suffering a layoff or loss of wages as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay Housed L.A. County will protect our most vulnerable, rent-burdened households who are on the brink of homelessness.”
“The pandemic and this unprecedented economic crisis has created a worst-case scenario for many renters,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn. “With Stay Housed L.A. County, renters facing eviction can access the resources they need to know their rights as tenants, and even get connected with professional legal representation if they need it.”
“Eviction can be an incredibly devastating event that families never recover from,” said Rafael Carbajal, Acting Director of Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. “It’s so much greater than individuals losing their homes. Stay Housed L.A. County represents the County’s enhanced efforts to stem an eviction crisis and our commitment to working with community partners to help our tenants preserve healthy and stable households in L.A. County. I applaud the Board of Supervisors’ leadership in this ground-breaking initiative and hope to see our most vulnerable renters take advantage of this most critical public service.”
“Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles is a proud member of the Renter’s Right to Counsel – LA, and we believe that Stay Housed L.A. County is an excellent first step to getting eviction prevention and defense representation to all Angelenos who need it,” said LAFLA Executive Director Silvia Argueta. “LAFLA is pleased to be working with our partners including Bet Tzedek, Community Legal Aid SoCal, Housing Rights Center, Inner City Law Center, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, Public Counsel, BASTA Universal!, and Eviction Defense Network, as well as tenant organizations.”
“In these unprecedented times we need unprecedented solutions,” said Shane Murphy Goldsmith, president and CEO of the Liberty Hill Foundation. “Stay Housed L.A. County is a first-of-its-kind collaborative effort between tenant organizers, legal service providers, and the County to keep tenants in their homes and off the streets. We are proud to partner with trusted, community-based organizations to reach and educate hundreds of thousands of tenants about their rights and, as well as connect them to legal services to help renters exercise their rights.”
Participating community-based organizations include the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Communities for a Better Environment, Coalition for Economic Survival, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, Eastside LEADS, Inquilinos Unidos, Los Angeles Center for Community Law and Action, Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN), Los Angeles Tenants Union, and Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE).
According to a UCLA study, about 365,000 L.A. County residents are at risk of evictions due to the COVID-19 economic recession. The Board of Supervisors extended the Los Angeles County Temporary Eviction Moratorium through Sept. 30, which instituted temporary tenant protections related to COVID-19 countywide, excluding jurisdictions that have enacted their own protections.
Stay Housed L.A. County serves as an important resource for tenants who are facing housing uncertainty — including bilingual residents and those with undocumented status — about their rights and who need legal support navigating their interactions with their landlord and the legal system.
When tenants have legal representation, a family’s chance of avoiding homelessness due to eviction increases by more than 70 percent.
Stay Housed L.A. County is a partnership between community organizations, legal service providers, and the L.A. County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs that offers L.A. County renters information about their rights and legal assistance to a limited number of tenants to help prevent evictions and keep people in their homes. For more information visit stayhousedla.org.
The Los Angeles County Rent Stabilization Program oversees and enforces the County’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance and Mobilehome Rent Stabilization Ordinance, supports the Rental Housing Oversight Commission, administers the County’s Expanded Eviction Defense Program, and oversees the County’s Eviction Moratorium.
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