Dear Friends and Family,
As the COVID vaccine rollout accelerates and more people get their doses, there is much to be optimistic about. Rent prices in Los Angeles have hit a turning point and might increase as the pandemic winds down. The American Rescue Plan Act – the latest federal pandemic relief bill – offers some assistance to tenants and landlords of smaller properties, while the City of Los Angeles launches an emergency program of its own. Finally, reports of California’s death in 2020 have been greatly exaggerated, as recent surveys show that many people were moving around within the state rather than out of it.
Los Angeles Apartment Rents Stabilize in February
“It’s likely that this is signaling a real stabilization in rents. Although rent growth was flat, it’s worth pointing out that this is the first month since February 2020 where rents in L.A. didn’t drop,” Rob Warnock of Apartment List, tells GlobeSt.com. “After a full year of steady declines, it’s possible that the pandemic-driven rent drop has run its course and that next month we’ll see rents in L.A. start to tick back up.”
COVID-19 Relief Throws a Lifeline to Renters and Small Landlords
“The system could not have weathered this for much longer,” says Cheney. “It would have been a crisis for tenants and workers and landlords without this back rent.” Most of these renters in trouble are concentrated in smaller apartment properties. These renters have relatively lower income, pay a lower rent and tend to work in industries more vulnerable to COVID-19, according to the Urban Institute. A lot of these smaller apartment properties are also concentrated in older, gateway cities like New York City and Los Angeles.
Application Period for LA’s $259-Million Rent Relief Program Opens March 30
The program, which will begin accepting applications on Tuesday, March 30, is funded through federal relief programs. The City’s Housing + Community Investment Department has been tasked with administering the funds, including $259 million which will go toward direct rent assistance and $3 million earmarked for eviction defense.
California Exodus is Really Only Happening From San Francisco
In Q4 2020, San Francisco saw 20,600 net exits, a 918.9% increase from the same quarter the previous year. LA County saw 51,400 net exits in Q4 2020, a 132.9% increase from the previous year. “There is a trend in most urban areas, but it’s most pronounced in San Francisco,” California Policy Lab at UC Berkeley Executive Director Evan White told the Los Angeles Times. But those who moved didn’t go too far, the study found. Roughly two-thirds of people who left San Francisco moved elsewhere “within the 11-county Bay Area economic region,” and 80% stayed in California.
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