LOS ANGELES – Today the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion authored by Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell and co-authored by Board Chair Hilda L. Solis, that calls for the County to develop a comprehensive strategy – centered in racial and social equity – for protecting small property owners and their communities who are at high risk of losing housing due to the impacts of COVID-19.
Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell shared “Traditionally smaller properties with apartment units have been an important source of affordable housing. These units also have the largest share of owners and tenants of color. This motion takes into account the underlying racial, social and economic injustices that compound the devastation of COVID-19 for both mom and pop property owners and renters. We know that both groups are barely hanging on and that our strategies must address both sides of this crisis. For communities of color that have carried the brunt of this pandemic, this motion also goes beyond recovering just to survive and instead creating long term stability by strengthening pathways to homeownership.”
“The pandemic has exposed and deepened social and economic inequalities in the County, with the burden of the crisis affecting low-income and communities of color,” said Board Chair Hilda L. Solis. “County residents are losing jobs, struggling to put food on the table, and facing housing instability and homelessness. This motion is a bold and urgent move to enhance relief and foreclosure prevention services for our most impacted residents.”
The Coronavirus Aids Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, among other protections, helped relieve qualifying property owners of mortgage payments for up to 12 months. However, not all property owners have been able to access these types of loans. The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA), along with the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) and other key County departments have been at the forefront in assisting residents who are experiencing different ranges of housing and income instability due to the pandemic.
This motion calls for equitable relief that starts with increased collaboration between DCBA and all relevant County departments on the collection and synthetization of data so that the full scale of our housing crisis and the communities most impacted can be assessed. Additionally, this motion allows for identifying new potential funding to expand the Los Angeles County Mortgage Financial Relief Program and instructs DCBA and LACDA to explore opportunities for strengthening existing first-time homeowner programs to be a catalyst for building inter-generational wealth.
To read the full motion click here.