As the economic toll of the ongoing pandemic continues, Pomona city leaders have agreed to a number of measures they say will further help residents struggling financially.

With a unanimous 5-0 vote, the City Council on Monday, Sept. 21, approved allocating $4 million for housing and business assistance, youth programming and homeless-prevention programs. The funds will come from a combination of federal sources including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act and Community Development Block Grants.

Over $1.4 million of the allocation will be used to support residents who are struggling with rent and housing needs. An additional $350,000 will be made available for small-business owners who are feeling the affects of lost revenue.

All forms of rent and housing aid that have come through the city have been paid directly toward a landlord or a bank on behalf of the tenant. This has been instrumental in helping not only those struggling with paying for housing but also landlords who aren’t receiving payments, Mayor Tim Sandoval said.

“It’s about doing what we can to help our families in this time of need,” Sandoval said. “The city is doing everything it can to help our renters and by extension of helping renters, it helps the landlords.”

In addition, the City Council voted unanimously Monday in favor of suspending water shutoffs and late fees on bills through Jan. 31, 2021, for residents facing financial hardships. The city previously took this action in March and subsequently extended it through September.

Due to the state’s passing of the Tenant Relief Act, eviction protections in the city also have been extended for residential tenants until Feb. 1, 2021. The move means that after Los Angeles County’s eviction moratorium ends on Sept. 30, the state’s law will be in effect in Pomona.

If an individual wasn’t able to pay rent between March 4 and Aug. 31, they cannot be evicted as long as they notify their landlord of financial distress caused by the pandemic. But for rent due between Sept. 1 and Jan. 31, tenants will have to to pay 25% of their rents from that period as well as notify their landlord about financial distress. This new law does not wipe out any unpaid rent.

When the eviction moratorium ends in February, $3 million will be available for residents who may face homelessness due to their inability to pay rent or cover their mortgages, according to Benita DeFrank, neighborhood services director for Pomona.

The Pomona Compassion Fund, which was formed in April to help those dealing with loss of income during the coronavirus crisis, has raised $225,000 to aid those who don’t qualify for federal help. DeFrank said that this extra relief, which is donation-driven, will be key in helping individuals who are most at-risk.

Since April, Pomona has received $10 million through HUD to address specific needs in the community. This has included aid for housing and rent, utility bills, food, business assistance and homeless prevention programs.

tinyurlis.gdu.nuclck.ruulvis.netshrtco.de