A motion adopted yesterday by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will redirect $5.5 million in funding toward the creation of mortgage and foreclosure relief programs for homeowners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been able to make progress keeping renters in LA County in their homes during this crisis by implementing an eviction moratorium and putting $100 million toward rent relief for families struggling to pay rent,” said 4th District Supervisor Janice Hahn, who co-authored the motion with 1st District Supervisor Hilda Solis. “But homeowners are struggling too and without a concerted effort on the County’s part, we may be facing a wave of oncoming foreclosures and homelessness.”

Under the approved plan, $3 million in affordable housing trust fund money currently previously earmarked for emergency rental assistance will be distributed to the County's Department of Consumer and Business Affairs.  That money will be divided evenly between 1) a foreclosure prevention program in which homeowners will receive counseling and mortgage assistance and 2) mortgage financial relief program, which will provide deferred or forgivable loans to homeowners to stabilize their mortgage payments.

An additional $2.5 million in affordable housing trust fund money currently set aside for a homeownership assistance program will also be redirected to the mortgage relief program.

Both programs will be targeted toward parts of Los Angeles County with high rates of foreclosure.

“Housing is a human right and as a result of the economic fallout of this COVID-19 crisis, many impacted individuals and families are on the brink of experiencing homelessness through no fault of their own,” said Solis in a news release. “In the midst of this unprecedented global pandemic, many workers in L.A. County are unemployed indefinitely, and one of the critical steps we can take right now is to keep them in their homes.”

The foreclosure and mortgage assistance programs come roughly one month after the County launched a $100-million renter relief program for residents outside of the City of Los Angeles.