SANTA MONICA—According to a press release from the city of Santa Monica, the Housing Authority has created new tools to assist tenants with obtaining affordable housing. The new payment standard and HOUSE program will help low-income households including seniors, persons with disabilities, and families.

The goal of the program is to close the gap between the available income and market rent. Santa Monica’s rents have increased above the federal program limits causing rental assistance vouchers to become non-competitive in the housing market.

SMHA asked for approval by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to significantly increase the amount paid for housing subsidies. Last week HUD agreed and approved the request. Advocates on SMHA’s behalf included U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu, U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Santa Monica City Councilmembers, and the Santa Monica Housing Commission.

“This new subsidy standard allows program participants to compete in the housing market and will help Santa Monica preserve its inclusive and diverse community,” said Santa Monica Mayor Tony Vazquez.

The HOUSE program was also recently approved by the Santa Monica City Council. The program gives owners an incentive to participate in the SMHA voucher programs. The main incentive HOUSE offers is a $5,000 signing bonus when a vacant, rent-controlled apartment is leased to a qualifying tenant with a voucher.

The HOUSE program funding will provide 45 signing bonuses and the SMHA is developing implementation details for both the HOUSE and voucher programs. SMHA expects to be able to notify landlords in June. Canyon News tried to contact Jim Kemper for more information on the programs, but did not receive a response before print.

For more information on the programs contact Jim Kemper at (310) 458-8702 or via email at