SMRR Delivers Expanded Aid to Senior Renters

By Mike Soloff, SMRR Co-Chair

Many talk about the affordable housing crisis. SMRR acts to help our neediest neighbors.

In 2015 SMRR leaders first imagined the City creating an innovative and highly cost- effective rent subsidy program to aid severely rent-burdened low income residents. In 2016 SMRR’s membership added support for such a program to SMRR’s platform. SMRR and SMRR leaders then led successful GS/GSH campaigns to raise funds for such a program.

In 2017 SMRR and SMRR leaders successfully advocated for Council to authorize a “Preserving Our Diversity” pilot program to aid senior renters, and in 2018 successfully advocated for Council to authorize expansion of the program to $2 million per year (enough to help 400-500 suffering seniors). Recently city staff proposed stopping that expansion given the COVID-19 budget emergency, but SMRR identified available housing trust funds and successfully pressed for preserving the full expansion.

Renters who are at least 65, have lived in their current rent-controlled apartments since before January 1, 2000, and make less than $39,450 (one person) or $45,050 (two persons), should go to www.santamonica.gov/pod or leave a phone message at 310-458-8743 with your name, number, and desire to register for the current program (city staff will call you back to get the necessary registration information). SMRR will continue fighting to aid even more low income renters.

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