Rent & the Right Resources
July 23, 2020
When I first set out to create this newsletter, I wanted to make sure you are getting the latest information about COVID-19, and how its impacts are changing, and challenging, the ways we live in the Valley.
It’s very clear to me that people are very concerned about housing and homelessness. Because of this pandemic, my colleagues and I have had to rearrange many of our priorities - but for months, I have been working on an active bill that helps renters stay in their homes, and makes sure that our landlords aren’t left in the dust.
It’s about a voucher-based program that allows qualified tenants to pay what they can afford right now, with the commitment to paying back the remaining balance within the next ten years. Property owners will receive tax credit vouchers to cover the outstanding rent debt. This plan is backed by renters, landlords and leadership at the State Capitol, and I believe that it’s this kind of thoughtful legislation can help stabilize some of the critical needs of our economy, while keeping our residents safe. We can find dignified solutions when we work together, and I hope I have your support.
I want this newsletter to give you not only the kind of information you need, but bring you the stories that you and your neighbors may not always see too. So if you come across something that my office might be interested in, or have some good news to share, please reach out on Facebook and Twitter, or send me an email, and let’s keep the conversation going.
Stay safe and be well,
HEALTH AND SAFETY
COVID-19 CASES IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY STILL ON THE RISE
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health says there are currently 23,174 cases of Coronavirus in the San Fernando Valley. Just two months ago, we were fighting over 7,600 - this goes to show that this dangerous virus is tenacious, so consistently wearing masks, doing our best to stay-at-home, frequently washing our hands, and maintaining physical (but not social) distancing all remain the keys to our future success in beating it.
If you want to know more, click on the Coronavirus box above to get the latest state and local resources. You can also visit the Public Health website for the latest numbers and guidelines to help control the spread of COVID-19.
NEW HEALTH SERVICES LINE AVAILABLE FOR UNINSURED CALIFORNIANS
Not everyone in California has health insurance, and as the pandemic continues to surge throughout our state, there are lots of people that could use a little extra support. There’s a Medi-Nurse line now available for those who might not have coverage or have Medi-Cal but don’t have a regular doctor. Please be sure to visit the Medi-Nurse site to get more information.
NEW SHELTER SUPPORTS HOMELESS WOMEN IN THE SFV
Thanks to a recent partnership between the city and county of LA, a new women’s shelter is now open and providing 85 beds in the San Fernando Valley.
According to the story from KCAL, the space is supported by A Bridge Home, and it’s called “The Arroyo,” where qualified guests who are seeking shelter can go to wellness classes, art therapy and receive other mental health resources. The Mayor posted a short video about this project on Twitter, and says that we expect to open “two dozen ‘A Bridge Home’ facilities…by the end of July, with a total of 1,800 transitional beds.” Click the picture to watch that video and learn more.
This is an exciting opportunity to do more about our ongoing homeless crisis, and I’m looking forward to seeing more places like this open up where we need them in our Valley.
JOBS AND ECONOMY
STAY UP-TO-DATE WITH YOUR EDD CLAIMS
Every day, we’re learning about the record number of Californians that are looking for help from the EDD. With the recent round of statewide closures, we know that these numbers are only growing at a faster pace. My office has been totally focused on helping those in the Valley to try to get the benefits to which they are entitled, so we know all too well just how slow, confusing, time-consuming, and stressful this process can be.
Right now it’s important, if you have not done so, to take time to verify your records, fill out your application, and stay up-to-date on deadlines. For example, if you briefly went back to work before the last round of closures, and you had been receiving UI benefits, then you should be able to continue receiving those benefits by re-opening your claim. This process also applies to those who qualify under Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
Please click the box above, or visit this website to make sure you’re enrolled for the right coverage.
OUT OF WORK? HERE’S A (FREE) HELPFUL SEMINAR
If you’ve lost your job or had your hours reduced due to COVID-19, you know you are not alone, and I am so sorry you are facing such enormous stress. I want you to know that the City of LA has an Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) that is offering free virtual seminars to guide you through applying for unemployment, health insurance, and other available resources. Seminars are free, and offered weekdays in both English and Spanish.
To get more info and sign up for assistance, please visit the EWDD website.
NEW MOVIE BY FAMOUS DIRECTOR COMING TO THE SFV
Many of you may have heard of the popular director, Paul Thomas Anderson. He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards, and is best known for such films as Boogie Nights, Phantom Thread, Magnolia, and many more. My district staffer, Dr. Brandy, caught this story and wanted to share that, thanks in-part to a $2.5 million state tax credit, Anderson is going to start filming a new movie in the Valley during the 1970s. It’s always exciting to see people getting back to work, and doing part of what we do best in this part of the country – make movies! To learn more about this project, click here.
VALLEY HOUSING PROJECTS GET BIG BOOST FROM NEW GRANTS
For years now, there has been a real need for more housing in the SFV. More individuals and families are calling our region home, which is why my office is excited to share that two new projects are getting a big boost thanks to a special grant program.
Over $1.8 million is being awarded to the META Housing Corporation for the Silva Crossing project, and just over $7.2 million will be going to Abbey Road, Inc. for the Sun Commons project! We need more housing now, and it's these kinds of projects that are positively changing lives, and building our community.
Thank you to the CA Dept. of Housing & Community Development for recognizing this great need, and we look forward to seeing progress on each of those projects.
NEW ELECTRIC FLEET IN PACOIMA
Our Valley is going through a lot of changes, but many local organizations are working harder than ever to help us adjust to our “new normal” – including helping some residents gain more independence by offering new options to get around town.
Eveline, one of my district staffers, reached out to Pacoima Beautiful after learning that they’re implementing a new community electric vehicle (EV) car-share rental program. With the help of several partnerships, the plan is to reduce air pollution, increase access to low-cost, zero-emissions mobility, and assist people in-need with a new way to get around. To learn more and/or sign up for this inventive resource, visit this website. And if you use this new program, let us know how you like it!
STAY SHARP WITH FREE ONLINE ACTIVITIES & RESOURCES
The Los Angeles Public Library offers various online activities to fill our long summer days. Options range from virtual book clubs and kid’s story time to guided yoga and even discussions on cinema. There’s various free digital resources you can use - like movies, e-books, music and even some extra educational materials you or your family may need for the upcoming school year. Show your support to our local libraries, and get signed up for these exciting resources today.
REMEMBER, WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER
We have revised these updates to focus on issues important to the San Fernando Valley during the COVID-19 outbreak, but we also want to keep you informed on legislative news, and about the places and people that matter in the San Fernando Valley. We appreciate your feedback. If you have a specific question or concern, please click here to send an email or call my office at (818) 901-5588. You’re also invited to share your own stories and experiences, so please feel free to connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.