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Application period opening soon for Monterey Rental Assistance Program

MONTEREY, Calif. (KION-TV) -- The City of Monterey announced the application period for the city's rental assistance program will open on Wednesday, April 17.

The online application period will remain open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. that day.

If you live in Monterey you'll be able to apply by clicking here during the appropriate time.

The program said it will provide up to three months of rental assistance in an amount not to exceed $5,000.

Assistance includes one-time legal help, housing counseling and will be capped at $3,000 per applicant.

People can also get help paying a deposit in the form of a loan. The city said overall assistance can't go over $8,000.

Applications are accepted on a first come/first served basis.

The first ten eligible applicants will be selected for review and assistance each month. The city says the application period will be open during the middle of each month as long as funds are available.

Public outreach continues for Rental Assistance program in the City of Monterey

The City of Monterey is continuing its push to help provide affordable housing for people living in the area. They're asking for public input on a Rental Assistance program at a series of meetings scheduled for March.

In a report to council members this week, the city described the program as one that would be more "flexible" and not bound by federal and state regulations such as income requirements to help people out.

Throughout February, the city has asked for input on the program and received over 130 responses to its survey on how the funding should be allocated and what specific needs should be targeted if the program goes through.

The survey results indicate people want low income people who live in Monterey should be prioritized. It also indicated the need to help people secure or maintain housing or with security deposits and covering an increase in rent.

During public comment at the special meeting this week, some in the crowd voiced the need for this type of program as not just a tool for assistance but also financial education.

"They really ought to have some financial advising to make sure we're not helping them out just for the same exact problem to happen again in a month, two months or three months. That's not a long term solution," said one commenter.

The report from the city said $200,000 would be set aside for the program and paid for through the city's General Fund. However some feel this isn't enough.

"I was with a nonprofit recently and they had that CBG money that came down during the COVID. I was the one who helped sign checks. I couldn't believe the amount those checks were with PG&E and water...they're bills! So this $200,000 isn't going to last. It's going to go very quickly."

During the pandemic and into 2021, the city said it launched an Emergency Rental Assistance Program to help 162 households suffering financial hardship. In that same timeframe the city put together a similar program with funds totaling $1.25 million on behalf of the United Way to help 128 homes. Overall, the two programs helped 290 households.

The next public outreach meeting is scheduled to take place at San Carlos Beach Park on Monday, March 4 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The final outreach meeting is at MPC on March 6 from 12 to 2 p.m.

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Victor Guzman

Victor Guzman is the Assistant News Director at KION News Channel 5/46.


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