The website for low-income Angelenos struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic to apply for prepaid debit cards has been crashing since it was put online Tuesday morning, and staff members from mayor Eric Garcetti’s office said they are trying to fix it.
The intent was to open the website from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. People who don’t have internet access are directed to call in to order at 213-252-3040.
The website being used is the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department’s hcidla.lacity.org for the Angeleno Campaign. The campaign had an initial goal of raising $10 million for the debit cards.
HCIDLA’s website did intermittently come back online throughout the morning. It was not immediately clear how many people had successfully accessed the site before it crashed nor how many people successfully registered by calling.
City News Service has reached out to HCIDLA and the mayor’s office for further comment.
The campaign is intended to provide no-fee, prepaid cards with $700, $1,100 or $1,500 to residents with incomes below the federal poverty line prior to the Safer at Home orders, or if they’ve fallen into “deeper hardship” from reduced work hours or income being cut by at least 50%.
During Monday night’s coronavirus briefing, Garcetti said people who are beneficiaries of federal and state assistance can still qualify, as long as income requirements are met.
Cards are available to people regardless of citizenship. People who apply and don’t receive a card will be kept on a waiting list, Garcetti said.
The debit cards are being provided through the nonprofit Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles as well as Accelerator for America in partnership with Mastercard’s City Possible program.
Both nonprofit organizations are independent from the city’s funds. Garcetti is a co-founder of Accelerator for America, which bills itself as finding and developing solutions to economic insecurity and sharing them with cities.
Gift cards financed by the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles for people who needed groceries were made available last week and were gone within four days, Garcetti said.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: