Mountain View City Council members April 14 approved an additional $1.134 million for the city’s COVID-19 Rent Relief Program, supplementing the $1.3 million relief package already passed in March earmarked to help local small businesses, seniors, the homeless and unstably housed, and provide services for residents in need due to COVID-19-related hardships.
The additional funds are from the city’s Community Development Block Grant program, a federal fund awarded annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for housing, infrastructure, economic development or crisis recovery. A portion of the block grant funds comes from the federal stimulus package.
“The city emphasis on investing the funds for rent relief underscores the testimony from emergency assistance experts that there is overwhelming need for rent relief during these unprecedented times, and that keeping families from losing their homes to begin with is the most successful and cost-effective way to prevent homelessness,” city officials said in a statement.
During the meeting, City Manager Kimbra McCarthy presented an update on the city’s COVID-19 actions. Included was the more than $74,000 400-plus residents donated to the #TogetherMV Fund to help small businesses and neighbors needing rent relief, and another $100,000 that LinkedIn Corp. pledged for small-business assistance.
The #TogetherMV Fund, managed by Los Altos Community Foundation, launched April 1 and drew 164 donations the first full day it went live.
“Between council actions, private donations and the generosity of individual donors, this community has collectively invested more than $2.6 million for relief efforts that touch every person within its borders,” said Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga. “But even more impressive is how quickly we have been able to come together and make it all happen. Expedience in getting assistance out to those in need has to be the priority in our efforts.”
In addition to allocating the funds per staff recommendation, the council also directed city staff to explore the feasibility of providing additional rent relief funding up to a potential $1 million, taking into account the city’s future fiscal situation and available resources. Council members are expected to consider potential funding sources, and receive an update on the city’s budget and current fiscal-year financial status, at their May 5 meeting.
For more information on actions the city has taken during the COVID-19 pandemic and a list of local and regional resources available to residents and businesses, visit MountainView.gov/COVID.