Los Angeles rent and energy bill help from Emergency Assistance to Prevent Eviction.

Very low income families that are facing eviction due to unpaid rent or a utility bill may qualify for help from the Emergency Assistance to Prevent Eviction (EAPE) program. This is for Los Angeles County families that are also enrolled in California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids, or CalWORKs. So the program is limited in scope as well as funding levels.

The intent of the EAPE Program is to assist CalWORKs residents that are behind on their rent, utility, or water bills. The cause of the crisis needs to be something that was out of their control. This situation must be causing a potential eviction or homelessness to take place. In many cases, the individuals will need to have a formal pay or quit or disconnection notice from their landlord or energy company.

The main goal of Emergency Assistance to Prevent Eviction is to keep people and families housed. So this is the intent of any cash grants paid out. In addition, any financial aid is only offered once per lifetime, though there may be some very limited exceptions that will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Funding levels are very limited, and in general only up to two months of rent or energy bills are paid. The funds will be issued directly to the landlord or creditor that is owed the money. This needs to keep the family housed in their current home or apartment as well.

To learn more or apply, stop by or call a local Los Angeles CalWORKs office. However, in general, the applicant needs to be CalWORKs approved. They also can't be qualified for the state of California Permanent Homeless Assistance program or any other grant type programs from the state. So EAPE is a last resort and is a more local resource for Los Angeles area families only.

The applicant also needs to be on the path to self-sufficiency and stability. So they need to be employed part or full time. Or they can be actively participating in an approved job training program, such as Post-Time Limit (PTL) services or GAIN WtW activity.

There can be some eviction prevention help offered for the unemployed as well. In this case, they need to be actively seeking employment (and be able to prove it) as well as enrolled into job training or some other GAIN WtW activity or PTL services. The goal of the county is to only provide funds to those on the path to stability.




Emergency Assistance to Prevent Eviction grants are only for hardship cases. The issue can't have been caused by the applicant. They need to have a verifiable financial hardship resulting from circumstances beyond the family's control. This crisis needs to have caused the nonpayment of rent and/or utilities, and examples may be a medical crisis, car breaking down, or maybe a temporary job layoff.

Families need to provide verification of the money owed to their landlord or utility company. They also need to show verification of the financial hardship. Most importantly, the individual needs to pay a portion of the arreagae due as well. They also need to be in position to pay the housing costs, on their own, in the future.

Qualified CalWORKs families can only receive grants from EAPE when the payment of back rent will prevent eviction. As noted, there may also be some funds to pay utility bills as well. Use the program wisely, as families or individuals can access the Los Angeles EAPE as needed until the once-in-a-lifetime.

To apply, or for referrals to other options, call a local Los Angeles CalWORKs office.




By Jon McNamara

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