Los Angeles tenant groups announced Monday they have settled their lawsuit against the state of California over how housing department officials handled the state’s rent relief program.
The deal gives tenants another chance to have their rent relief application reviewed or to appeal a denial. An estimated 331,000 L.A. area households remain behind on rent, and many of them are now facing possible eviction.
“Hopefully, people who were quickly denied in the past will actually be approved when the state is forced to look a little bit closer,” said Legal Aid Foundation of L.A. attorney Jonathan Jager. He worked on the legal team that brought the lawsuit forward on behalf of L.A.-based tenant group Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, statewide advocacy organization Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and national research institute PolicyLink.
During the pandemic, California’s Housing Is Key program came under fire for being difficult to access, or even understand, especially for low-income tenants who didn’t own computers or speak English. The lawsuit sought to address those disparities, and get eligible tenants connected to the relief they were promised.