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Senior Rent Subsidy Programs Expand In SoCal Cities

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Glendale's senior housing subsidy pilot program will provide $300 monthly to selected households. (screenshot of City of Glendale video: https://www.glendaleca.gov/government/departments/community-development/mhsp)
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Incomes in L.A. are not keeping up with rising rents — especially for those on a fixed income, like senior citizens.

In the face of rising senior homelessness, more cities in Southern California are planning to subsidize rents for their older residents.

In a video recently posted by the city of Glendale, city staffers spin a raffle machine, calling out numbers in a random lottery to pick low-income seniors who will get $300 a month to help pay their rent.

The lottery was held as part of the city’s new Monthly Housing Subsidy Program. About 2,700 households applied for 1,000 spots. Preference was given to households with renters aged 75 and older.

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In order to qualify for Glendale’s program, applicants had to:

  • Be at least 62 years old
  • Be a renter within the city of Glendale
  • Have an annual income of $21,950 or less for a one-person household (the cutoff is $25,050 for a two-person household)
  • Have at least one disabled person living in the household

Glendale’s Director of Community Development Philip Lanzafame said the city launched the program because elderly renters are struggling to pay for their basics in the midst of California’s housing crisis.
“We don't want people to ever have to make the decision between the rent, their food and their medicine,” Lanzafame said.

Glendale isn’t alone. Santa Monica has been subsidizing seniors’ rents since 2017. The Los Angeles City Council recently began considering a similar program.

Over the last two years, the L.A. region has seen a 31% spike in homelessness among residents 62 and older.

GO DEEPER:

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  • Santa Monica Offers Cash to Help Seniors Struggling With Rent [LAist]
  • A Senior On The Streets, With Little Chance Of A Home [KPBS]