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Latest Updates On Affordability In Santa Monica

July 26, 2019 9:00 AM
by Andy Agle

Latest Updates On Affordability In Santa Monica

This article originally appeared in the July edition of Seascape.

From CalFresh, to a new Toolkit about Affordability, to a ban on tiny studios, here are the latest updates on housing and affordable living in the City of Santa Monica!

SANTA MONICA’S ENFORCEMENT OF SECTION 8 HOUSING PROTECTION LAW

The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office (CAO) has just resolved its eleventh complaint of housing discrimination using a new city law that protects Section 8 housing voucher holders. In each of the eleven cases, local landlords had told an applicant or existing tenant that they would NOT accept Section 8 tenants or vouchers.

Thanks to intervention by the CAO and collaborative efforts from the City’s Housing Division and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA), all eleven tenants now have affordable housing using the Section 8 program.

Section 8 is a federal program run here by the Santa Monica Housing Authority (SMHA), which helps low-income tenants find an affordable and decent place to live. Approved tenants pay 30 to 40 percent of their annual income toward rent, while the voucher covers the rest.

CITY COUNCIL PROHIBITS SINGLE-ROOM OCCUPANCY UNITS

After a temporary ban in March, Santa Monica City Council recently voted to prohibit singleroom occupancy units (SROs), which are apartments smaller than 375 square feet. Council members were concerned a sudden wave of micro-units in the City would change the composition of downtown – as they don’t accommodate different household sizes – and they want to ensure new development includes enough larger units for families.

This ordinance will not impact 100-percent affordable projects, or projects that already have building permits.

WE ARE SANTA MONICA LAUNCHES TOOLKIT ON AFFORDABILITY

We Are Santa Monica invites you to join neighbors, local nonprofits, businesses, and community organizations to create a stronger community for all. Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, you must have plenty of questions pertaining to housing, Rent Control, and more — and having the right resources handy is crucial! We Are Santa Monica recently released a practical toolkit to help tenants and landlords navigate through this important topic and connect them to the right programs and service. Download the toolkit here and visit WeAre.SantaMonica.gov for more information.

CALFRESH NOW AVAILABLE TO OLDER, DISABLED SSI RECIPIENTS

The State of California recently expanded its CalFresh food program to include older adults and individuals with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

This decision will help many who are currently struggling to make ends meet, and provide them access to healthy and nutritious foods. For more information on CalFresh, go to GetCalFresh.org.

As a reminder: all four Santa Monica Farmers Markets accept EBT cards as part of CalFresh! Please visit the information booth and slide your card through the point-of-sale device. Once approved, you will be issued scrip, which may be spent with any farmer at the Santa Monica Farmers Markets.

*CalFresh is the new name for California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.

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