The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to keep the moratorium on residential and commercial evictions in place until at least September 30, 2020. The vote marked the third time that county officials have extended the moratorium since the pandemic began in late-March.
Last week’s decision comes as the number of coronavirus cases across LA County has spike in recent weeks – prompting local officials to dial back business reopening across the region.
With Los Angeles’ unemployment rate hovering near 20%, increased economic uncertainty over stalled reopening plans leaves many local renters on the edge of homelessness. According to an article published in Urbanize LA, the County estimates that over 360,000 households “would be in imminent danger of eviction and displacement should the moratorium be listed.”
While the moratorium is certainly welcome relief to renters, many ‘mom and pop’ landlords are facing financial ruin themselves. Last month, the Los Angeles City Council approved $100 million aimed at helping residents and landlords impacted by the pandemic. However, with the massive need across the city, those funds are capped at $1000 per household, per month.
Without a more comprehensive policy prescription that includes mortgage relief for owners, many small landlords simply will not be able to keep their properties. As a result, South Los Angeles could become ripe for speculators, investment funds, and corporate entities looking to purchase prime real estate for ‘pennies on the dollar’.