Mayor Gloria Urges Workers to Apply for Rent Relief
MAYOR, REP. PETERS, COUNCILMEMBER CAMPILLO, OTHERS RAISE AWARENESS OF $83 MILLION PROGRAM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 22, 2021
San Diego Housing Commission: email@example.com, 619-578-7138
SAN DIEGO Amid his ongoing efforts to protect vulnerable San Diegans, Mayor Todd Gloria today urged workers affected by the pandemic to apply for rent relief through the COVID-19 Housing Stability Assistance Program.
Mayor Gloria was joined at a press conference today by San Diego City Councilmember Raul Campillo, San Diego Housing Commission President and CEO Richard C. Gentry, Unite HERE Local 30 President Brigette Browning, and California Restaurant Association San Diego Chapter President Ben Clevenger to encourage workers impacted by the pandemic to apply
For the Housing Stability Assistance Program to reach the San Diegans who need it most, its critical that we spread the word, Mayor Gloria said. Im proud to partner with the City Council, the Housing Commission and labor, business and community organizations to make sure workers who have lost income know that we can help them make unpaid rent and utility payments. We can provide working families the relief they need to recover from the pandemic, and we want them to know help can come if they apply today.
The City of San Diegos COVID-19 Housing Stability Assistance Program launched on March 15. Federal and state regulations require prioritizing past-due rent before paying upcoming rent. If funds remain available, the program can help with upcoming rent.
A major goal of the American Rescue Plan Act is to help those most in need, including people who struggle to pay rent due to reduced wages or lost jobs, said Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52). I applaud Mayor Gloria and the City of San Diego for using these funds to support critical housing and rental assistance. While we still face uncertainty, people trying their best should not face eviction during a public health crisis. We rely on our local officials to help make the goals of our federal resources a reality.
Councilmember Campillo represents neighborhoods including Linda Vista, where todays news conference occurred at the Bayside Community Center. The center is a nonprofit, neighborhood-based organization that combines social services, educational opportunities and advocacy efforts in one location to encourage and empower community members.
I was honored to make the motion at the City Council to create this crucial Housing Stability Assistance program that will allow struggling San Diegans to make rent and utility payments and mom-and-pop property owners to get the rent checks they depend on. I urge all workers affected by economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic to take advantage of this valuable lifeline, said City Councilmember Campillo.
The San Diego Housing Commission worked with the Mayor to develop the Housing Stability Assistance Program. The online application is available at covidassistance.sdhc.org.
Many workers and those who lost their jobs because of the pandemic are struggling with the uncertainty of past-due rent and utilities that have built up over the last year, San Diego Housing Commission President & CEO Gentry said. Help is available. The Housing Commission encourages every low-income household affected by COVID-19 to apply.
Unite HERE Local 30 represents the workers in the hotel and hospitality industry that is one of the hardest hit by the financial impact of COVID-19 in San Diego.
Many in our communities were already struggling with the cost of living when our tourism industry shut down, placing thousands of San Diegans out of work with little or no warning, said Brigette Browning, president of UNITE HERE Local 30. The Housing Stability Assistance Program is a lifeline in providing some stability while workers attempt to navigate their economic recovery.
More than $83 million is available through the COVID-19 Housing Stability Assistance Program to help qualifying households with rent and utility payments. SDHC, which administers the program, anticipates beginning to disburse payments in April.
In the programs first four days, more than 4,000 households submitted applications.
To be eligible for assistance through the program, households must meet the following criteria:
- Tenant has a City of San Diego address.
- Household income is at or below 80 percent of San Diegos Area Median Income (AMI), currently $92,400 per year for a family of four.
- Household has an obligation to pay rent.
- Household does not currently receive any rental subsidies. (Households that receive rental subsidies can only apply for help with their past-due utilities. Assistance will depend on funding availability.)
- At least one member of the household has a reduction of income or other financial hardship due to COVID-19.
- Household experienced or is at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.
Priority is given to these types of households:
- Income is at or below 50 percent of San Diegos AMI ($57,750 per year for a family of four).
- At least one member of the household has been unemployed for 90 days and remains unemployed.
Applications may be submitted either by a tenant or by a landlord, community-based organization or 211 San Diego on behalf of a tenant.
Those who need help with their applications or have questions about the program can call (619) 535-6921 or contact the following community-based organizations:
- Casa Familiar (619)333-6824
- Chicano Federation (619)285-5600
- ElderHelp of San Diego (858)380-5341
- Logan Heights Community Development Corporation (619)858-0563
- Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA) (619)363-6592
- The San Diego LGBT Community Center (619)692-2077
- Serving Seniors(helping hundreds of existing clients for whom they provide case management services)
- Union of Pan Asian Communities (UPAC) (619)255-7644
- Urban League of San Diego County (619)266-6256
- San Diego Refugee Communities Coalition 619-793-9019
Includes the following organizations:
- Haitian Bridge Alliance (917) 496-2248
- Horn of Africa (619) 583-0532
- Refugee Assistance Center (619) 793-9019
- Somali Bantu Community of San Diego (619) 283-3956
- Southern Sudanese Community Center of San Diego (619) 788-6511
- The Karen Organization of San Diego (619) 582-0783
- United Women of East Africa Support Team (UWEAST) (619) 501-7804
California State Senate Bill 91 allows landlords to receive 80 percent of their tenants past-due rent for the period of April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, if they agree to forgo the remaining 20 percent. Landlords also can receive 25 percent of upcoming rent for the months of April through June 2021, depending on funding availability. If a landlord declines these terms, the program can pay 25 percent of the tenants past-due rent directly to the tenant for them to pay their landlord and, if funds are available, up to 25 percent of the tenants upcoming monthly rent for the three months of April through June 2021.
The States temporary eviction ban requires a tenant to pay 25 percent of their rent to be protected from eviction for nonpayment of rent. Under the States temporary eviction ban, City residents cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent related to COVID-19 at least until June 30, 2021.
The San Diego City Council also has approved a temporary ban on evictions related to COVID-19 that Mayor Gloria proposed, which will go into effect on July 1, 2021 (unless the State further extends its eviction ban) and will remain in effect until 60 days after the end of the Citys COVID-19 State of Emergency declaration. For more information, visit www.sdhc.org/evictionban
The Citys COVID-19 Housing Stability Assistance Program is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number ERA302, awarded to the City by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.