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Rent Relief Program Can't Come Soon Enough for Angelenos on the Brink

Spectrum News 1 - It’s been a long time since Adela Peñabla has gotten a good night’s sleep. "My body starts to shake and I have depression,” she said. 

An immigrant from El Salvador, Peñabla moved to Southern California 18 years ago, making a living as a street vendor. She’s been renting a tiny room in house in South L.A., where she cooks her meals in a make shift kitchen, using bottled water in lieu of a sink.

She’s been able to make just enough to cover her $370 a month rent, until the pandemic hit and her income dried up overnight.

Why Landlords Target Mothers for Eviction

Mothers are being evicted far more frequently than other Americans. This is the hidden story of America's looming housing crisis.

The New Republic - In February, a white man showed up at Patricia Mendoza’s door and informed her that the month-to-month lease for her two-bedroom apartment in Imperial Beach, California, would be terminated on April 10. He was speaking so loudly that her daughter began recording him on her phone; inside, Mendoza’s son began to cry. They had been through two eviction attempts since the pandemic began last March. Now, they would have to fend off another.

Before the pandemic, Mendoza told me, she would have said the worst thing that had ever happened to her was her divorce. “It was a dark time in my life,” she said, but “nothing compared to what my struggle is now.”

Inquilinos son desalojados en el sur de Los Ángeles

La Opinion - Las redes sociales mostraron imágenes de inquilinos que salían con sus pocas pertenencias en bolsas de plástico de una propiedad en el sur de Los Ángeles el jueves por la mañana.

Aproximadamente 12 inquilinos de una casa de huéspedes, localizada sobre la calle 46 y la esquina McKinley en el sur de Los Ángeles, desconocían que la renta que estaban pagando no iba directa a los dueños de la propiedad, sino a un inquilino principal que desapareció.

La casa de huéspedes usualmente albergaba a personas que eran mayores de edad o personas en recuperación de adicciones. No era parte de ningún programa gubernamental. Los vecinos dicen que el inquilino principal rentaba por su cuenta y los interesados se enteraban acerca de esta vivienda mediante amigos o conocidos.

Coming Soon: ‘The Moms of Magnolia Street' Documentary

NBC Bay Area - A new digital-first investigative series coming in late March 2021 to the NBC Bay Area app on Roku and Apple TV and to NBCBayArea.com

Against the backdrop of California’s affordability crisis, pushing thousands of Black residents out of their homes and onto the streets, a group of unhoused working mothers in Oakland took matters into their own hands.

In November 2019, the mothers formed a group called Moms 4 Housing and illegally occupied a vacant, corporate-owned home on Magnolia Street in West Oakland. Standing on the shoulders of generations of iconic Oakland activists, such as the Black Panthers and Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the moms’ act of civil disobedience sparked a national reckoning around displacement and the erosion of African American neighborhoods.

“The Moms of Magnolia Street” follows the moms’ journeys as they took on the large home-flipping corporation and challenged the city’s power structure.

Rally goers demand that LAUSD schools not reopen until more safety measures in place

Participants want access to vaccines for school staff and all zip codes serviced by district to be out of purple tier

LA Daily News - Students, parents, educators and community members rallied in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 20, to demand that schools not reopen amid the pandemic until stronger safety measures are in place. The event featured a mid-morning car caravan rally that began outside the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and ended at the Ronald Reagan State Building.

High Number of Evictions Prompts Richmond to Consider Stronger Protections

KQED - More renters in Richmond may soon be protected from evictions after the City Council on Tuesday approved directing city staff to draft stronger eviction protections for tenants during the pandemic.

"We feel the urgency of now, that we have to take action. So what we want to do is fill the gaps. This is the best scenario that we can do and we want to do the best scenario," said Richmond City Council member Gayle McLaughlin, who introduced the item.

Despite statewide protections that prevent tenants from eviction for nonpayment of rent if they claim a financial hardship, evictions are still happening, including in the city of Richmond. Contra Costa County evicted 135 people between the beginning of the pandemic and the end of 2020, the second-highest number of evictions across the Bay Area. That’s according to a KQED analysis of sheriff lockouts that was cited in the council member’s report.

Legal loopholes allow CA landlords to force tenants out even during eviction moratorium

Despite that moratorium, some landlords are looking for ways around the law to try to force tenants out now.

ABC 10 - A single mother of two young children has vowed that she will have to be "dragged out" of her home, after receiving notice by her landlord she's being forced out of her rental unit in Imperial Beach. This threat to evict Patricia Mendoza comes despite the current statewide eviction moratorium, which has now been extended through June.

Despite that moratorium, some landlords are looking for ways around the law to try to force tenants out now.

"It's a living nightmare," Mendoza said. "I'm going to have to live in my van with my two children, and that's not fair. It's not fair for anybody's family."

Mayor Gloria announces $45.5 million in COVID-19 rent relief from state

CBS 8 - On the heels of announcing federal rental assistance in late January, Mayor Todd Gloria announced Friday the state will provide $45.5 million in assistance for San Diego residents unable to pay rent due to the impacts of COVID-19.

These funds can also be used to help some San Diegans who are behind in paying their utility bills. A recent study by the state's Water Resources Control Board, for example, finds that nearly 70,000 San Diegans county-wide are currently behind on their water bills.

The state and direct federal funding amounts to nearly $87.9 million in relief for families and individuals who have been devastated financially by the pandemic. This is on top of $13.75 million in emergency rental assistance that helped 3,717 San Diego households in 2020.

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