September 19 deadline for Rent Control Adjustment Relief program
By Sam Catanzaro
On Monday, September 19 at 6 p.m. applications will close for the “Rent Control Adjustment Relief” (RCAR) program which provides one-time rent relief to help rent-burdened Santa Monica households in rent-controlled apartments unable to afford the Rent Control General Adjustment that took effect on September 1, 2022.
The 2022 General Adjustment is 6 percent with a maximum $140 monthly increase for rent-controlled units. This is the highest it has been since 1990.
The RCAR program is “intended to keep families housed, shield tenants from eviction, and help both property owners and tenants manage this year’s unusually high General Adjustment increase,” according to the City. The RCAR program provides relief equivalent to a 3 percent rent increase over a 12-month period to be paid directly to the property owner/manager in a single lump sum.
Currently, there is $750,000 of funding available for the RCAR program. The City will prioritize applicants whose households who are expected to be most impacted by the rent increase with priority given to very-low- and extremely-low-income households. The program will focus on tenants who have received a Notice of Rent Increase implementing the 2022 general adjustment and are severely rent-burdened households that are paying 50 percent or more of their income on rent.
The application period will close on Monday, September 19 at 6 p.m. Santa Monica residents in rent-controlled apartments should review information and apply at santamonica.gov/programs/rent-control-adjustment-relief.
For persons with limited access to a computer, paper applications are available at Virginia Avenue Park (2200 Virginia Avenue) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday through September 19. Both online and printed applications are available in English, Spanish, Amharic and Farsi. Applications completed on the online portal can be translated into these languages and many more. Tenants of rent-controlled apartments regardless of citizenship status are eligible to apply for the program.
Santa Monica housing voucher holders are exempt from applying for RCAR as these households will be automatically assessed for eligibility for RCAR assistance as part of their annual recertification process.