Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Home Special Reports Archive Links The City Commerce About Contacts Editor Send PR

Santa Monica Program Helps Vulnerable Tenants Stave Off Eviction

Bob Kronovetrealty
We Love Property Management Headaches!

Santa Monica

Santa Monica Apartments

Santa Monica College
1900 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 434-4000


By Lookout Staff

April 8, 2021 -- In an effort to help stem an expected "wave of evictions," City officials this week launched a program that gives free legal counsel to vulnerable tenants.

Launched by the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office, the pilot Right to Counsel project comes as eviction moratoriums ordered during the coronavirus shutdown are set to expire.

"City and state eviction moratoriums have delayed and blunted the impact of potential early evictions," City officials said.

"But there is little doubt that among Santa Monica’s 32,000-plus renter households" there is "a significant number of tenants who will continue to be unable to pay rent and face eviction efforts."

The program is available to Santa Monica tenant households whose income is at or below 80 percent of the County’s Area Medium Income of $80,000 and are facing eviction attempts by their landlord.

Under the program, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) will provide "full-scope eviction defense services in which LAFLA attorneys will represent tenants in court," City officials said.

”The City’s Right to Counsel program will help level the playing field for Santa Monica tenants facing evictions in proceedings where their landlords are represented by experienced attorneys,” said Interim City Attorney George Cardona.

According to Stout Risius Ross, LLC (Stout), a global investment bank and advisory firm, 97 percent of LA County tenants are unrepresented in eviction cases, while landlords are unrepresented in 12 percent of their cases.

"Unrepresented tenants in LA County get displaced 99 percent of the time, but if they get representation, they avoid displacement 95 percent of the time," Stout found.

The contract with LAFLA builds on Stay Housed L.A. County, a partnership between the County, legal aid groups and community-based organizations to provide emergency support to low-income tenants in need.

LAFLA and its partners in Stay Housed L.A. "hope that this is the first step towards a full Renter’s Right to Counsel in Santa Monica and other Los Angeles jurisdictions,” said Barbara J. Schultz, LAFLA's director of Housing Justice.

Tenants can visit for general information or call 1-888-694-0040 (LAFLA) for legal services.

Back to Lookout News copyrightCopyright 1999-2021 All Rights Reserved. EMAIL Disclosures