Rent Relief, Advanced Tax Credits and more Valley News
July 1, 2021
As we approach the Fourth of July, we have a lot to celebrate. I am looking forward to enjoying barbeque with vaccinated friends and family, after a long year plus of hunkering down and avoiding gatherings. We are celebrating our nation’s birthday, along with our relative freedom from the scourge of COVID. For those who are still suffering from the economic harms of the pandemic, help is on the horizon. Among other programs, the local and state governments have extended eviction moratoriums, with the State paying back rent. In addition, starting July 15, most families with minor children will receive a monthly federal child tax credit.
While celebrating Independence Day, please remember that fireworks are illegal. We are in a drought and susceptible to wildfires. Also, be sure to remain hydrated, and protect pets, children and the elderly from the heat.
Stay safe and be well,
CALIFORNIA EVICTION MORATORIUM EXTENDED AND COVID-19 RENT RELIEF - APPLY NOW!
Late Monday night, Governor Newsom signed legislation that extends the State’s eviction moratorium through Sept. 30, 2021. The new law leverages $5 billion in federal rental assistance to help the State’s tenants and small landlords. The legislation enhances current State law by increasing rental assistance to 100 percent of rent that is past due because of COVID-related reasons, and for prospective payments. This agreement ensures that rental assistance funds stay in California by prioritizing cities and counties with current unmet need and will further protect vulnerable households from eviction.
To learn more about the California Rental Assistance Payment Program visit Housing is Key. The application takes approximately 30 minutes, is available in six languages, and you can complete it on a smartphone. Applicants will not be asked about, nor required to show proof of citizenship.
Residents are eligible to apply if they have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due to COVID-19; have a household income that is not more than 80 percent of the Area Median Income; and demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which may include:
- a past-due utility or rent notice or eviction notice;
- unsafe or unhealthy living conditions; or
- any other evidence of such risk, as determined by the program.
EVICTION MORATORIUM EXTENDED IN L.A. COUNTY
The eviction moratorium for L.A. County, previously set to expire on Jun. 30, has been extended an additional three months by the Board of Supervisors. The eviction moratorium, now set to expire on Sept. 30, prevents landlords of residential and commercial properties from evicting tenants for reasons related to financial hardships which have arisen due to the pandemic. Also included under the County’s renter protection are provisions that prevent certain additional costs accruing during the duration of the moratorium. Some of these protections include prohibiting late fees and other related charges, as well as other costs not included in the current month’s rent. For more information, click here or call (833) 223-7368.
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE ON JUL. 1
On Jul. 1, the minimum wage in the City of Los Angeles will increase to $15 an hour for small businesses, equaling the minimum wage for larger employers. Visit the Office of Wage Standards website for more information and resources, including required workplace posters available in 13 languages.
SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIREMENTS DROPPED IN L.A. COUNTY COURTHOUSES
Los Angeles County courthouses reopened to the public on Monday, Jun. 28 with eased COVID-19 restrictions. Individuals are no longer required to schedule appointments to attend hearings, obtain court documents, or conduct other courthouse business. Even after the reopening, some remote hearing options will remain available to defendants. Officials additionally encourage individuals to schedule appointments for picking up court documents at the clerk’s office to reduce lines. Masks are required for entry into courthouses.
MID-VALLEY YMCA NAMED NONPROFIT OF THE YEAR
It was my honor to recognize the Mid-Valley YMCA, located in Van Nuys, as the Valley’s Nonprofit of the Year for California’s Nonprofit Day. While long an important community resource, the Mid-Valley YMCA distinguished itself throughout the pandemic by offering robust and vital services to our community.
During the challenging year, Mid-Valley Y has served as a place for families to receive crucial services such as childcare, showers, and internet. Mid-Valley YMCA Senior Branch Executive, Lionnel Zaragoza said:
Since the beginning of this pandemic the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles has continued to serve the needs of the community by providing meals to children and families, establishing digital hubs for internet access to close the digital divide as well as providing emergency childcare for children of first responders and other essential workers.
Additionally, since February, the Mid-Valley Family YMCA has been providing COVID-19 Vaccines on a rotating schedule. They are now the permanent vaccination center for L.A. City Council District 6, with their site open every Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. They have also hosted numerous food giveaways, blood drives, outdoor fitness classes, diaper and formula giveaways, and much more to make the community a better place during challenging times.
CHILD TAX CREDIT
The new Child Tax Credit provides major tax relief for nearly all working families. If you have a minor child, you will receive the full credit if you earn up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called head of household). The Child Tax Credit increased to $3,000 per child 6 - 17 years old and $3,600 per child younger than six years old. Starting on Jul. 15 and through the rest of the calendar year, payments will be sent monthly (via direct deposit for 80 percent of families and through the mail for the others) - at $250 per child between 6 - 17 or $300 per child younger than six.
If you regularly file federal income tax returns, you should automatically receive either the direct deposit payment or a check. The IRS launched a simplified online tool that will allow low-income families, who do not file federal income taxes, to receive the Child Tax Credit. If you chose to opt out of the advanced Child Tax Credit, you can fill out an online form.
LEARN TO SWIM
The City of Los Angeles is offering free and low-cost swim lessons for kids. There is still time to sign up, although spots are going fast. Visit SWIM LA to check out available lessons and locations. It is a great way to beat the heat, and ensure that your children are water-safe.
DRIVE-UP FIREWORK SHOW
Porter Ranch is hosting a celebration of the 4th of July this year at Shepherd of the Hill Church. The celebration features a fireworks show to bring the community together and commemorate Independence Day! It is a drive-up event, meaning everyone will stay in their cars. If you feel more comfortable staying socially distant, this offers the opportunity to celebrate Independence Day safely!
FREE CONCERTS ON SUNDAYS
As the San Fernando Valley continues to reopen, the Valley Cultural Center is offering free concerts in Warner Park over the summer. Every Sunday evening, beginning at 5:30 p.m., a different artist will play in the park. Join to hear live music and enjoy the reopening of the Valley!
LOCAL COMPANIES HIRING
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of Californians are still unemployed. However, now that the State has officially reopened, employers are preparing for an uptick in business by hiring new employees. If you are looking for a job, NBC Los Angeles compiled an updated list of companies and organizations hiring in Southern California right now.
COMMUNITY CLEANUP THROUGHOUT THE VALLEY
Local cleanup organization Volunteers Cleaning Communities is hosting various trash cleanups throughout the Valley. Currently, the organization hosts biweekly cleanups. To volunteer, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers Cleaning Communities also offers the Adopt-1-Street or Adopt-a-Highway program, where participants identify a region on the highway or in their neighborhood to clean twice a week.
BOOK CLUB AT NORTH HILLS LIBRARY
The Mid-Valley Regional Branch Library in North Hills is hosting a monthly Zoom book club. If you are interested in joining, email email@example.com with “Cover to Cover Book Club” in the subject line to get a Zoom link. Each month the club will discuss a new book.
REMEMBER, WE ARE A TEAM
I appreciate hearing from you. If you have a specific question or concern or story about the Valley to share, please click here to send me an email or call my office at (818) 901-5588. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.