City Steps Up to Help Struggling Anaheim Landlords

City Steps Up to Help Struggling Anaheim Landlords
A woman wearing a mask walks past a wall bearing graffiti that asks for rent forgiveness amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in Los Angeles on May 1, 2020. (Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)
Jack Bradley

Anaheim landlords whose rentals have gone unpaid during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can now turn to the city for financial help.

Council has approved a local rental assistance program that provides landlords with up to 80 percent of unpaid rent for up to a year if they agree to waive the remaining 20 percent and not pursue evictions.

It will begin accepting applications for the program March 1, after city council on Feb. 16 green lighted the initiative.

The rent subsidy program was created for landlords who “are having a hard time paying their mortgages and their debt obligations,” Anaheim spokesperson Mike Lyster told The Epoch Times.

Program funds came from a national emergency rental assistance (ERA) program.

California received $2.6 billion in funding last Dec. 27 as part of a $25 billion federal rescue package to help those who’ve suffered setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Orange County began distributing nearly $66 million in ERA funds on Feb. 1, but some cities—including Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Irvine—received funds to launch their own initiatives.

The city will administer $30 million in federal funding locally through the Anaheim Housing Authority.

If the landlord decides not to participate, rental assistance will be provided directly to the tenant, limited to 25 percent of the total debt owed.

Landlords who opt out of the program can evict their tenants after the moratorium is lifted, however, the eviction moratorium could again be extended.

Starting Aug. 1, landlords can go to small claims court to pursue unpaid rent from April 1, 2020, through March 31.

Anaheim previously provided $5 million in emergency rental assistance to landlords.

The City of Irvine will discuss the rollout of the rental assistance funds during a Feb. 23 meeting.