During a visit to a Los Angeles legal aid clinic, Gov. Gavin Newsom Wednesday proposed that the state create a $331 million trust fund to provide legal assistance for people at risk of losing their homes.

“Families facing eviction and foreclosure should know their rights and have legal advocates who can fight on their behalf, especially at this moment when Californians are grappling with sky-high rents and huge housing costs,” Newsom said in a statement.

Funding for the program would come from California’s share of the National Mortgage Settlement. According to Newsom, the funds would be placed into a trust that would then assist nonprofit groups to provide legal assistance for at-risk renters and homeowners.

The funds could be used for legal services, counseling, mediation, renter education and training.

Newsom made the announcement while touring the Los Angeles offices of Public Counsel, which provides a variety of legal services, including help for people facing eviction or foreclosure.

The proposal would need to be approved by the state Legislature.

Newsom said the money in his latest proposal would be on top of $20 million included in the 2019-20 state budget to provide legal assistance for renters to fight “unjust evictions.”

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