The City of Monterey announced that its Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) has expended all of the City’s available rental assistance funding. In total, the City’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program has issued 405 checks totaling $962,287.32 to help 162 households since it’s start in August 2020. The program is designed to reduce homelessness and displacement of existing Monterey residents and workers who are or were employed by a Monterey business and are experiencing a decrease in household income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and cannot pay their rent. Monterey County has received $26.7 million in federal funding for rental assistance through the latest stimulus act. The County tasked United Way Monterey County to develop a mechanism for distribution of these funds. The City hopes that the County will allocate some of the funding to the City’s successful rental assistance program.
The City has seen an increase in the number of applications for assistance since December, following the second statewide shelter in place order. In the City’s final week of Emergency Rental Assistance, the City of Monterey issued 35 payments totaling $101,172.78, depleting the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) current funds. The $800,000 ERAP budget was partially federally funded through the City’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, the City’s own Housing Program Income and the federal CARES Act.
Emergency rental assistance is a significant need for the City given the economic impacts of COVID-19. In the City of Monterey, renter-occupied households account for 65.9 percent of total occupied units; 35.3 percent are low to moderate income, and more than half (51.8 percent) experience one or more housing problems.
“There is still an immediate and unprecedented need for rental assistance caused by the pandemic,” said City Manager Hans Uslar. “Unlike other economies in the County, the hospitality industry is disproportionately affected by the pandemic and the health orders. Monterey County allocated another $26.7 million through federal stimulus for housing-related assistance to United Way Monterey County for distribution, and we hope we can secure some of those funds to continue this critical program.”
City Housing Analyst Grant Leonard added, “Should the City receive funding through the County of Monterey and United Way, 100% of the funds would go directly to those who need it.”
Since the inception of the program, the City has partnered with the United Way Monterey County to have 2-1-1 operators assist with screening and referring people to the City’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. When and if additional funds are secured, the City will announce the continuation of the program.