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Posted on: February 11, 2020

Anaheim approves Senior Safety Net program for seniors struggling with housing costs

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (Feb. 11, 2020) — Anaheim seniors struggling with housing costs can get emergency help and up to a year of rent assistance under a $645,000 pilot program approved by Anaheim’s City Council on Tuesday.

The Senior Safety Net program offers emergency financial help, assistance paying monthly rent and counseling and service referrals to prevent housing challenges among seniors.  

“We know housing affordability is an issue for many, but it is especially critical for our seniors living on fixed incomes,” Mayor Harry Sidhu said. “This program will offer help to renting seniors across Anaheim, regardless of what type of housing they live in.”

The Senior Safety Net program is set to start in March and operate out of the Downtown Anaheim Community Center. The program’s funding is estimated to help about 100 Anaheim seniors in need of housing assistance and counseling. 

Tuesday’s adoption of Senior Safety Net guidelines follows the City Council’s approval of the pilot program in October.

"As a lifetime advocate for seniors, I called for the Senior Safety Net to support seniors in our community who are struggling to pay housing costs," said Council Member Trevor O’Neil, who proposed the program in September. "Seniors face a greater challenge bouncing back from hardship, and this helps bridge that gap."

Program Overview

  • $350,000 in rent assistance for qualifying seniors, funded by federal Home Investment Partnerships Program money
  • $250,000 for emergency housing assistance, funded by former Anaheim redevelopment agency money that can used for emergency housing services
  • $45,000 for case management and counseling funded by federal Community Development Block Program money

How it Works

Counseling, case management 

All Anaheim seniors 55 and older can access one-on-one counseling and case management to help prevent housing challenges and to take advantage of services and programs available from nonprofits and government agencies.

Counseling services include initial interviews and personal assessments, referrals to nonprofit and government programs, ongoing consultation and progress monitoring and referral to the Senior Safety Net’s rent assistance service as needed.

Emergency Assistance

Low-income Anaheim seniors 55 and older can qualify for emergency financial help to deal with housing affordability issues.

Emergency assistance prioritizes the neediest seniors in our community, those earning about 30 percent of Orange County’s median income of $97,900, and also focuses on those earning about 50 percent of the county’s median income.

Emergency assistance includes:

  • Moving costs: up to $1,000 for a move to stable housing or to secure housing after being displaced
  • Rent catch-up: up to $3,000 or two months’ rent for someone who has fallen behind in payments
  • First and last: assistance up to $3,000 for first and last month’s rent
  • Security deposit: up to $3,000 or two months’ rent
  • Other expenses: considered case by case for expenses that impact someone’s ability to pay for housing, with a maximum of $4,000

Rental Assistance

Renting Anaheim seniors 62 and older can qualify for rental assistance payments for six months with extensions not to exceed 12 months.

Rental assistance prioritizes low-income seniors paying up to 50 percent of their income on rent.

Qualifying seniors pay 50 percent of their monthly income toward rent with city payments covering the rest.

Learn more

While designed to support the largest number of Anaheim seniors possible, income, residency, household net worth and other qualifying factors apply to the Senior Safety Net program.

You can find out more details in our fact sheet.

 You can see program guidelines and operating procedures here.

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