On Wednesday, the San Diego Housing Commission and the city of San Diego announced it received $8.3 million of federal funding to support the COVID-19 Housing Stability Assistance Program.
The federal funds were reallocated from other jurisdictions nationwide by the U.S. Treasury Department, and San Diego received the third most reallocated funds.
"These additional rent relief dollars are coming because the federal government recognizes the outstanding job San Diego has done of getting previously allocated funding out the door and into the hands of renters in need of help," San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said.
Gloria recently met with American Rescue Plan Coordinator Gene Sperling to advocate for additional relief funds.
"The need continues to outpace the available resources, so my team will continue to work with our federal and state partners to bring more relief funding to the people of San Diego," Gloria added.
The Housing Stability Assistance Program is operated by the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC). As of Jan.18, 14,813 qualifying households reported experiencing financial hardship due to or during the pandemic.
The program has assisted qualifying households with over $152.8 million in funds.
"This new funding will enable the San Diego Housing Commission to help more families with low income pay their rent and utilities," SDHC President and CEO Richard Gentry said. "These funds are a direct result of our program successfully getting payments out more quickly than other areas to help struggling households.
A request was submitted to the U.S. Department of the Treasury on Oct. 29, 2021, for $115 million in reallocated funds. The commission was awarded around seven percent of the requested amount to support the program.The state received $50 million despite having requested $2 billion.
In a statement, the commission said the U.S. Department of the Treasury developed a process for the reallocated federal emergency rental assistance funds that had not yet been obligated in other jurisdictions. This includes making additional funds available to high-performing agencies based on demonstrated needs.
All of the funding previously authorized for the COVID-19 Housing Stability Assistance Program is fully obligated to assist households with low income, including applicants who have preliminary approval, according to the commission. However, the demand exceeds available funds.
“The total obligations for assistance payments still exceed the available funding to help qualifying households,” The SDHC wrote in a statement.
The commission said approximately $42.8 million remains available to provide assistance payments, and about $70.3 million is needed to fulfill requests from current applicants who have preliminary approval.
“Without significant additional funding, the COVID-19 Housing Stability Assistance Program will not be able to provide help to thousands of eligible households,” the commission said.