By Michael Soloff, SMRR Executive Committee member and Housing Commissioner
Two years ago I told you that thousands of elderly Santa Monicans are struggling to survive with just $20 each day after paying rent and utilities, according to HUD. SMRR swung into action to protect our neighbors.
SMRR leadership designed—and SMRR Councilmembers launched—an innovative pilot rent subsidy program to keep these low-income seniors in their homes with dignity.
SMRR and its school allies passed Measures GS/GSH to provide $8 million each year for affordable housing (and $8 million for schools). SMRR Councilmembers kept faith with the voters by matching the GS/GSH housing funds with other City funds in order to restore historic affordable housing funding levels, and by approving both a public planning process and new transparency measures to assure residents that all the funds continue to be well spent on those key affordable housing priorities.
SMRR and SMRR Rent Control Board members now are urging Council to scale up the rent subsidy program to $2 million or more per year to help many more of our struggling seniors.
SMRR and SMRR Councilmembers also are working right now to find additional funding both to grow the rent subsidy program even further, and to create even more new affordable housing to better preserve Santa Monica’s historic character as a City of economic diversity. Stay tuned!
Please vote SMRR in November to keep this progress going.