Los Angeles – Housing advocates are warning of a wave of evictions as emergency eviction moratoria begin to run out. This could worsen the homelessness crisis across the country, which would result in negative health outcomes. Here in California, Governor Newsom has extended authorization allowing local governments to delay evictions through the end of September. But, UCLA researchers found that 365,000 renter households in Los Angeles County are in imminent danger of eviction once eviction orders are lifted.
L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan, which serves low-income individuals and families who could be at risk of eviction, is announcing a second round of funding under its Housing Stability Initiative. Six legal aid agencies that have long been fighting to protect low-income and under resourced individuals and families who are often from communities of color, will receive a total of $750,000.
“We want to bolster the efforts of agencies that have already been helping to level the legal playing field for people living in poverty,” said John Baackes, CEO, L.A. Care Health Plan. “The funding will help the six agencies educate clients about their rights and provide legal representation to hundreds in need.”
It is widely acknowledged that people facing eviction have a greater chance of staying in their home if they have legal representation. Inner City Law Center, a nonprofit law firm assisting the poor in Los Angeles since 1980, is embarking on their second year of L.A. Care’s Housing Stability funding.
“The pandemic has the potential to displace tens of thousands of poor and low-income families in Los Angeles County from their homes in the months after the courts re-open,” said Adam Murray, Executive Director at Inner City Law Center. “We know the best way to prevent homelessness is to stop it from happening in the first place. With support from L.A. Care’s Housing Stability Initiative, our attorneys at Inner City Law Center stand ready to defend tenants who could soon face eviction into homelessness.”
The six L.A. Care Housing Stability Initiative II grantees listed below will each receive grants of between $100,000 and $150,000:
- Bet Tzedek
- Eviction Defense Network
- Inner City Law Center
- Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
- Los Angeles LGBT Center
- Public Counsel
The cost of legal representation is far less expensive than the potential costs of eviction. Again, evictions contribute to extreme economic hardship and homelessness, and in turn, to poor health outcomes. Giving people the legal tools needed to fight eviction will give them a fighting chance at a healthy life.
The first round of Housing Stability Initiative grants provided $500,000 to four legal aid agencies.