No work, no rent: Tenants grapple with mounting debt, shrinking benefits

LA Daily News - Alicia Kneifl had just started a new life in a new city with a new job. She and her husband sold their house in Lancaster, put their goods and their boat in storage, and rented an 11th-story Long Beach apartment with city and ocean views.

Then the coronavirus shutdowns came, and the Kneifls rapidly lost everything — first their jobs, then their savings. They paid less than half their rent through June and couldn’t pay any in July.

Adding to their hardship, Kneifl’s unemployment check will drop to $198 next week unless Congress extends the $600 weekly unemployment supplement approved under the CARES Act.

“You can’t really survive on that. That’s nothing,” Kneifl said during a phone interview, starting to sob. “All day long, I’m researching. Mornings, I’m applying for jobs, afternoons I’m trying to find resources, like food stamps. … It’s definitely a scary situation.”


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