Santa Barbara Mayor Marty Blum announced Wednesday that a city collaborative will receive a grant totaling $1.2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding from the federal Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program.

The funding was awarded through a competitive grant process from the state Department of Housing and Community Development. The funds are available until Sept. 30, 2012.

The federal funding is designated to provide short- and medium-term rental assistance with case management to individuals and families who are in housing but at risk of becoming homeless, and to individuals and families who are homeless.

The HPRP Collaborative consists of the city of Santa Barbara, Transition House, Casa Esperanza, Catholic Charities, Legal Aid Foundation, Rental Housing Mediation Task Force and Bringing Our Community Home.

Over the next three years, the grant will provide about $700,000 in direct financial assistance and $350,000 in housing relocation and stabilization services. The remainder of the funds will be used for data collection and evaluation. The collaborative estimates serving about 400 individuals and 500 families during the grant period.

Qualifying residents must either be homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness, and be at or below 50 percent of the area median income to qualify for the assistance. The collaborating agencies will assess clients’ eligibility for receiving HPRP assistance.

“Over the past 18 months and continuing today, hundreds and hundreds of our neighbors are losing their jobs and falling into homelessness for the first time. The number of seniors and physically disabled people arriving at Casa Esperanza seeking help has nearly doubled,” said Mike Foley, executive director of Casa Esperaza. “This new rapid rehousing funding is truly a lifeline for so many of our neighbors on the verge of hopelessness.”

Interested residents or agencies serving eligible residents can contact Sue Gray, community development programs supervisor, at 805.564.5461.

— Sue Gray is the community development programs supervisor for the city of Santa Barbara.