A new initiative backed by tech and entertainment industry wealth aims to keep South Los Angeles real estate out of the hands of corporate buyers.

The Los Angeles Local Rental Owners Collaborative (LROC), which was announced earlier this month, would provide benefits to smaller landlords including short-term rental relief grants, as well as financial and property management consulting services.  The program is being administered as a partnership between the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative - an organization founded by Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan - as well as the Roy + Patricia Disney Family Foundation, Realtor.com subsidiary Avail, Enterprise Community Partners, and the Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD).

“The LROC program will bring much-needed relief to rental owners of small apartment buildings and their tenants in South L.A. This program will address the loss of rental income since March 2020 and provide the opportunity to preserve affordable housing in our community,” said CRCD president and co-founder Mark Wilson in a prepared statement. “This work supports CRCD’s efforts over a decade, to use Community Economic Development principles to impact change in the neighborhood. We are proud to partner in this collaborative effort made possible by the initial pilot funders, CZI, and philanthropic partner, RPDFF.”

The 90011 zip code - where the LROC program is currently open for applicationsGoogle Maps

The new initiative comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has put lower-income renters at increased risk of displacement, and in turn, landlords of smaller properties - typically between 2 and 20 residential units.  A report published by the Urban Institute recently found that nearly 31 percent of independent rental property owners are considering selling their buildings to make up for lost rental revenue - increasing the likelihood that their properties may fall into the hands of larger, corporate landlords.

CRCD, a non-profit housing developer and service provider, is tasked with administering the program - including the community outreach process and management of the approval process for applicants.  Enterprises Community Partners will oversee financial management, while Avail will host the application and provide online tools to assist with rental payments and maintenance requests.

The LROC is now accepting applications from qualifying rental property owners in the 90011 zip code - an area which includes the communities of Historic South-Central, South Park, and Central-Alameda. To learn more, visit Avail.co/lroc.

The program, according to its website, is tailored for property owners of between 2 and 20 residential units, with priority given to those of BIPOC ancestry.  Payments from LROC will be made directly to landlords, with the condition that participants undergo mediation with tenants who have fallen behind on rent prior to initiating eviction proceedings.