I hope you are finding these COVID-19 focused newsletters helpful. For the most part we have been trying to sort the daily information by topical needs and by issues to make the information navigation easier. Below please find links and tips to help you find official information, updated changes and resources to help navigate these unprecedented times.
For your reference we are also updating resources and archiving newsletters on my website www.councilmemberpaulkoretz.com.
Eviction Protection Ordinance Is In Effect For Those Who Need It
Today is April 1st and the expectations of making ends meet for most Angelenos is no joke, especially at the first of the month when rent or mortgage payments come due.
For Los Angeles tenants: If you can not pay your rent now, you cannot be evicted. It is that simple. However, this is NOT free rent, nor is it a rent freeze. If you can afford to pay your rent - please do so. Landlords rely upon rental income to pay their own mortgage, utilities and/or other services. Remember that for many landlords your rent is their sole income. And if they are foreclosed upon, your tenant status could be further destabilized in the future.
During the Coronavirus/ COVID-19 emergency, tenants who can not currently pay rent will have a 12-month payback deadline that starts at the end of the emergency, or you can negotiate a repayment arrangement with your landlord that isn't restricted to 12 months. For residential tenants, you now have one year from the end of the emergency to pay back your rent, and commercial tenants will have 3 months.
In addition, the City Council voted to support my amendments to waive all interest and late fees. Also, we added a requirement that tenants can not be evicted for bringing relatives or extra people or pets into their homes. So if during the crisis you need to bring a relative and their pet into your apartment, your landlord can’t evict you for that.
The ordinance is here.
HCID Recommendations for Best Practices for Tenants and Landlords/ Property Managers
The Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCID) recommends that tenants maintain documentation showing inability to pay rent results from circumstances related to the COVID-19 emergency even though the City Council ordinance waived the requirement for proof. (This is in case the clause n the ordinance waiving the requirement for proof is challenged in court.) Examples of documentation may include but are not limited to, a letter from the employer citing COVID-19 as a reason for reduced work hours or termination, employer paycheck stubs, bank statements, or school district notifications. Under the Governor's Emergency Order, tenants should provide this notification to their landlord within 7 days of the rent due date.
- Communicate with your landlord about your inability to pay if your income is affected by the COVID-19 emergency.
- Do not ignore any notices issued by the landlord or property manager.
- If you file a complaint (case) with HCID, be sure to comply with the requirements and documentation requested by HCID.
- All tenants are still responsible for any lawfully charged rents due.
For landlords and property managers:
It is recommended that if you contact HCID so that, if necessary, cases are properly and timely documented and communication with landlords can be begin even sooner.
- Work with tenants during the Emergency Declaration period.
- Communicate with the tenant about their ability to pay.
- Do not ignore the tenant protections in place.
- Thank you for helping to prevent the displacement of your tenants.
HCID hotline is available at 1-866-557-7368 M-F 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For detailed information, visit https://hcidla.lacity.org/covid-19-eviction-moratorium
Rent Increases On RSO Apartments Are Temporarily Frozen
On Monday, March 30th Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an order freezing the rent increases of all apartments covered by the City's Rent Stabilization Ordinance at their current level. This includes apartments that previously were slated to have their rents increased on April 1st.
This rent increase freeze will be in place through the duration of the Local Coronavirus Emergency and sixty days beyond. Together with the City Council's ordinance, these actions are designed to prevent unnecessary housing displacement and to prevent housed individuals from falling into homelessness.
Property Taxes Are Due
Many Los Angeles residents are worried about making ends meet due to COVID-19 pandemic and among the most immediate financial concerns is the April 10 property tax payment deadline.
Unfortunately, the County does not have the authority under State law to extend or postpone the second installment property tax deadline.
However, beginning on April 11, the day after property taxes are due, people unable to pay on time for reasons related to COVID-19 may submit a request for penalty cancellation online. The department has set up a special team to process these requests for those who demonstrate they were affected by the outbreak.
We encourage all property owners who can pay their taxes on time to do so. This revenue helps keep the government running and providing vital services that the public relies on, especially in times like these.
Also, since County buildings are closed, in-person payments are not currently available. To learn more about how taxpayers can pay online, via telephone or by mail visit their website at https://ttc.lacounty.gov/.
For more information, visit the LA County Treasure and Tax Collector's Office's Frequently Asked Questions: What COVID-19 can mean for your taxes or call 213-974-2111.
LADWP Will Not Disconnect Water and Power Service During COVID-19 Emergency
Thanks to Mayor Garcetti’s emergency directive to help our customers get through any financial hardships that may occur as a result of the Coronavirus/ COVID-19 pandemic, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) has deferred disconnections for non-payment during this crisis. Customers who receive a disconnect notice should disregard the letter and not panic. While letters may still be sent out as our systems catch up with this emergency, the City will not shut off water or power to residents of Los Angeles during the local emergency.
LADWP also offers extended and flexible payment plans. Any customer experiencing a financial hardship can request a payment plan online at www.ladwp.com, then click on “My Account”.
If customers are able to pay their utility bill, they should continue to do so. But our first concern is to make sure that all Angelenos have the essential services they need to get through this crisis.
LADWP Performing Critical Repairs in Bel Air
DWP will be performing a planned power outage on Friday (04/03) from 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. This outage is necessary to complete critical repairs. Approximately 80 customers will be affected on the following streets:
BOTTLEBRUSH DRIVE [ All Addresses ]
GREENTREE COURT [ All Addresses ]
WOODFIELD COURT [ All Addresses ]
In response to community concerns and to the extent that resources are available, DWP is working to schedule planned outages at night in order to continue this critical work while minimizing community impact.
Update: Temporary Emergency Homeless Shelters at Westwood and Cheviot Hills Recreation Centers
Last week the Westwood and Cheviot Hills Recreation Centers in CD5 were among the first of 13 rec. centers redesignated as temporary emergency shelters in the City for homeless who have no symptoms of the Coronavirus. Councilmember Koretz's Field Deputies Jasmine Shamolian and Angel Izard have been working as liaisons to those centers, keeping us apprised on supply and service needs. The shelters are being serviced by an amazing staff of hard working City employees who have been relocated as Disaster Relief employees. These dedicated folks have ensured a smooth operation and are taking great care of our most vulnerable Angelenos while ensuring minimal impact of surrounding neighborhoods. The temporary shelters at Westwood Recreation Center and Cheviot Hills have enough supplies at this time. Thank you to everyone who helped with our Towel (and magazine and toiletries) Brigade.
|Meet Nicole Hayden, RN A Mother/cBaby/ NICU RN at Kaiser Harbor City turned Cheviot RN dedicated nurse on duty.|
|Meet City Workers: Bianca Garcia-Zamora, Councilmember Koretz's Field Deputy Angel lzard, Stephanie Manzo. Bianca and Stephanie operate shower scheduling, operation and sterilization.|
Trailers Arrive in Westwood Recreation Center
Forty-one trailers have been set-up at the Westwood Recreation Center to accommodate our homeless neighbors who are at high risk, such as those over 65 or those with underlying health issues.
As we deal with the impacts of COVID 19, this is an important step in protecting the most vulnerable in our community. Thank you to the Mayor's office and the Dept. of Recreation and Parks, as well as the State of California and the County of Los Angeles, for their efforts in making this all possible.
Foster (or Adopt) An Animal While Safer At Home
The Los Angeles animal shelters are closed to the public because of Coronavirus and Mayor Garcetti’s “Safer at Home” orders. However, Los Angeles Animal Services (LAAS) and its shelters continue to care for the homeless dogs, cats, and other animals of the City, and they need your help.
Our Animals NEED Foster Volunteers and Adopters
The shelters are still taking in injured, lost and stray animals brought in by Animal Control Officers or dropped off by members of the public by appointment. The current animal residents of the shelters need to be fostered or adopted, to make room for new arrivals.
If you want to foster, here are the steps to follow:
- Visit laanimalservices.com/adopt to see available animals and identify one to three animals you may want to foster, and get their Animal ID number or A# (example:A1234567)
- Email the volunteer liaison at email@example.com with your completed foster application (if you have not fostered before) with the Animal ID number(s) of the pets you want to meet.
- Someone from LAAS will call you once your application is reviewed to schedule an appointment.
If you want to adopt, here are the steps to follow:
- Visit laanimalservices.com/adopt and when you see a pet you want to adopt, call 888-452-7381 with the Animal ID number or A# number (example: A1234567), and LAAS will share all available information regarding the pet with you.
- If you want to move forward with the paperwork to adopt this animal, LAAS will obtain all information to complete the paperwork for adoption over the phone and schedule a pick-up appointment.
- During the appointment, staff will be able to show you the selected animals. LAAS has a directive to not have more than 10 people assembled at one time and that includes staff.
Can’t bring home an animal but want to help? If you are interested in donating to LA Animal Services directly, please click here. You can also go online to donate a Kuranda bed and have it sent directly to one of our Animal Services Centers, or you can order pet toys that can’t get chewed up or swallowed, like Kong toys or balls, from our wish lists.
For more information, please visit: http://www.laanimalservices.com/donate.
CD5 Restaurant Survey
Please continue to support local businesses by ordering takeout and/or delivery, and by purchasing gift cards for future purchases. Another way you can help is to tell us about your favorite eateries and restaurants so that we can help promote their services and give residents better access to local food options. We are grateful for your continued support of our neighborhood establishments.
CD 5 Featured Restaurant of the Day
The Little Door, located at 8164 W. 3rd St., invites you to try a special curated food and beverage menu now available via delivery via Postmates, pick up or via curbside service everyday from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Bulk items and family-style options are available too. View their menu at: http://thelittledoor.com. Attention wine enthusiasts: The Little Door is now offering 50% off their bottled wine list with bottle prices starting at $18.
À votre santé!
Here to Serve
My office, like all City of Los Angeles offices, is following recommended protocols such as social distancing and working remotely to slow the spread of the coronavirus. That said, my staff and I are always readily available to help with your questions, concerns, and needs during this difficult period. We can be reached by phone at 213-473-7005 and 323-866-1828 and through email firstname.lastname@example.org. Since we are experiencing a higher-than-normal volume of calls, feel free to email the staff member you wish to contact directly. The accompanying link contains those e-mail addresses.
I know these are really confusing times and that new information is changing quickly, so please continue to check and verify official information through these credible resources:
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District