SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica announced on its website that on Monday, August 29, beginning at 8 a.m. the “Rent Control Adjustment Relief” (RCAR) program will open and will take applications for a one-time relief program to help Santa Monica households in rent-controlled apartments unable to afford the upcoming 6 percent Rent Control General Adjustment that will go in effect September 1, 2022.
The RCAR program is focused on keeping families housed, shields tenants from eviction, and helps both property owners and tenants manage this year’s unusually high General Adjustment increase. There is $750,000 of funding available for the RCAR program. Assistance will prioritize households who are expected to be impacted the most by the rent increase with priority given to very-low- and extremely-low-income households. The program will focus on tenants who have received a Notice of Rent Increase implementing the 2022 general adjustment and are severely rent-burdened households that are paying 50 percent or more of their income on rent.
The application period will open Monday, August 29 and close on Monday, September 19 at 6 p.m. Santa Monica residents in rent-controlled apartments are urged to review information and apply at santamonica.gov/programs/rent-control-adjustment-relief. Qualifying tenants are encouraged to apply for the program as soon as possible.
“We know the 6% increase is going to burden residents in rent-controlled apartments, and the City of Santa Monica is stepping in to provide support,” said David White, City Manager. “We are committed to quickly deploying available resources and have mobilized a team to assist our community due to the unforeseen impacts of inflation.”
For individuals with limited access to a computer, applications are available at Virginia Avenue Park (2200 Virginia Avenue) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday from August 29 to September 19 (closed Labor Day, Monday, September 5). Both online and printed applications are available in English, Spanish, Amharic, and Farsi. Applications completed on the online portal can be translated into these languages and many more. Rent relief is not automatic; tenants must apply and be qualified to get help. The program is open to all tenants of rent-controlled apartments regardless of citizenship status. Recipients of Section 8, Continuum of Care, HOME, or VASH housing vouchers are not eligible for rent relief.
If applicants need direct assistance completing an application, a Community Clinic will be held at Virginia Avenue Park on September 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On the day of the clinic, staff will provide support in English and Spanish, and interpretation in other languages will be available via Language Link. Appointments are required; call (310) 458-2201, ext. 5771 to make an appointment.
The program builds on the City’s prior COVID-19 rental assistance efforts. Santa Monica helped 2,300 Santa Monica tenants and property owners receive more than $38 million in rental assistance through the State of California COVID-19 Rent Relief program. More than $2.8 million in rental assistance was distributed to more than 640 Santa Monica families since March 2020 by leveraging federal funding from Community Development Block Grants and the CARES Act as well as local funding from the city’s General Fund and community contributions to the We Are Santa Monica Fund.
For more details about the Rent Control Adjustment Relief program and to apply, visit santamonica.gov/programs/rent-control-adjustment-relief. For questions contact (310) 458-2201, ext. 5771 or firstname.lastname@example.org.