A rent-relief clinic planned for this Saturday is booked solid with some 100 Valley renters looking for help applying for state and federal relief.
In conjunction with the North Bay Organizing Project (NBOP), Food For All/Comida Para Todos and the Sonoma Valley Housing Group have joined forces to help local tenants who, due to Covid-19 problems, are behind on their rent or will likely have difficulty meeting their rent in coming months.
Fifteen members or supporters of the two groups have been trained by NBOP to help people make out their applications. The three groups are considering a second clinic in November. Renters who wish to get on a November waiting list can do so at the FFA/CPT Facebook page.
The available money comes from the more than $30 million allotted to the County as part of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), set up under the state legislature’s Senate Bill 91. The funds can be dispensed for unpaid utilities bills as well.
Processing some 106 families, La Luz Center has exhausted the $250,000 in the ERAP fund that it requested initially. It has requested additional funds.
NBOP, operating county-wide, has distributed more than $3 million of its $10 million and is filling the immediate gap in the Valley.
One major obstacle the groups face is that some of the families economically hardest hit by Covid-10 — those subleasing space, including many Latinx families living doubled up — may not qualify for the funds. Families that went into debt to pay their rent at the height of the epidemic may file for future months.
NBOP will also help with ERAP applications individually, during the work week. Contact Beatrice Camacho, [email protected], (707) 520-4755.