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Local News

County Receives $829,000 in Recovery Funds to Combat Homelessness

The Board of Supervisors votes to distribute the money to several community organizations

Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr announced Tuesday that the county has received about $829,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to benefit local homeless prevention programs.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously voted to distribute the funds to several community organizations.

In general, the funding will provide financial assistance to low-income residents throughout the county to help them pay for security deposits, rent and other needs related to acquiring or maintaining rental housing.

“These funds are critically important to help people who are struggling during this economic downturn,” Farr said. “Providing vital housing assistance can make all the difference for families to keep a stable home rather than being forced to live in a shelter or on the streets. This is also another example of how the county is putting Recovery Act funds to work quickly to assist those in need and to push forward a strong economic recovery for our community.”

Farr is the board-appointed co-chair of the South Coast Homeless Advisory Committee, the committee tasked with helping end homelessness in Santa Barbara County.

The supervisors’ action on Tuesday distributed the ARRA funding to the following organizations, including two South County groups:

» Transition House and Casa Esperanza, $442,973

» Legal Aid Foundation and the Rental Housing Mediation Task Force, $42,000

In the North County, the supervisors awarded $323,315 to a collaborative group including Good Samaritan Shelters Inc., the Legal Aid Foundation and Catholic Charities.

The Santa Barbara County’s Housing and Community Development Department received the ARRA money for distribution to these groups under the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program.

The funding is targeted to prevent low-income residents throughout the county who are facing difficulty in the rental market from slipping into homelessness. Qualifying residents must either be homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness, and be at or below 50 percent of the area medium income to qualify for the assistance. The agencies receiving the HPRP funding through the county will assess clients’ eligibility for potentially receiving HPRP assistance.

The program is expected to begin by Oct. 1 and will be available for about three years depending on how quickly the funding is used.

Interested residents or agencies serving eligible residents can call Mike Sederholm of the county’s Housing and Community Development Department at 805.560.1090 for more information.

— William Boyer is the communications director for Santa Barbara County.

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