Over 150 senior households experiencing economic hardship are now receiving financial assistance through a Santa Monica program and additional assistance is available.
The Preserving Our Diversity (POD) pilot program provides financial assistance to very low-income, long-term Santa Monica senior renters to help cover basic needs like food, healthcare and transportation.
The Santa Monica City Council approved the $2 million expansion of the program in the summer of 2019 to assist a total of 250 to 400 seniors facing financial hardship. Despite the financial impacts of COVID-19 and reductions to the City budget and staff, the City Council continued investments in the POD program recognizing the vulnerability of Santa Monica’s low-income senior community.
The cash-based assistance aims to help households achieve a minimum amount of monthly after-rent income of $700 for a one-person household or $1,225 for a two-person household. To be eligible for the program you must:
- Be a senior aged 65 or older.
- Have lived in a Santa Monica rent-controlled apartment since before January 1, 2000.
- Have an annual household income less than or equal to $39,450 for a one-person household or $45,050 for a two-person household.
- Not already be living in a subsidized apartment or participating in a rental voucher program.
“We would like to help more senior households meet their most critical and basic needs and ask for seniors to apply,” said Community Services Director Andy Agle. “If you have a neighbor or family member who qualifies and would benefit, please help them through the application process.”
If you meet the above criteria and are interested in applying for POD, please apply online (in English and Spanish) via computer, tablet, or smartphone, through a secure website at www.santamonica.gov/pod, or by calling the Santa Monica Housing Authority at (310) 458-8743.
The application period will remain open for interested seniors to apply. All qualified applications submitted to the City will be placed on a waitlist. Applicants will then be selected by lotteries for enrollment on a rolling basis over the coming months.
Know someone who might qualify for the program? Please share information with them, encourage them to apply, or help them apply.
For additional information or questions, please visit www.santamonica.gov/pod.