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Relief Program for Rent Control Tenants Kicks Off Monday

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By Lookout Staff

August 23, 2022 -- The City on Monday will begin accepting applications for a one-time program that will distribute $750,000 to low-income tenants unable to pay their upcoming rent increases.

The “Rent Control Adjustment Relief” (RCAR) program will give priority to "very-low- and extremely-low-income households" paying more than half of their income in rent, City officials said.

The program will focus on tenants who have received a Notice of Rent Increase implementing the 6 percent Rent Control General Adjustment that takes effect September 1.

“We know the 6 percent increase is going to burden residents in rent-controlled apartments, and the City of Santa Monica is stepping in to provide support,” City Manager David White said in a statement Tuesday.

“We are committed to quickly deploying available resources and have mobilized a team to assist our community due to the unforeseen impacts of inflation,” White said.

The program's goal is to "keep families housed, shield tenants from eviction and help both property owners and tenants manage this year’s unusually high General Adjustment increase," officials said.

The 6 percent annual increase -- with a $140 cap -- is the highest rent adjustment in four decades and comes during the worst inflation in 40 years.

The increase has prompted the Council to place a measure on the November 8 ballot reducing the maximum rent increase allowed from 6 to 3 percent ("Council Unanimously Backs SMRR's Proposal to Cut Rent Increases," August 3, 2022).

Tonight, the Council is scheduled to take up an emergency ordinance that protects rent control tenants from eviction if they can't afford to pay the monthly rent increase ("City Council to Consider Eviction Moratorium," August 22, 2022).

The application period opens Monday at 8 a.m. and closes on Monday, September 19, at 6 p.m.

Santa Monica residents in rent-control apartments are urged to review information and apply as soon as possible at

For persons with limited access to a computer, applications are available at Virginia Avenue Park, 2200 Virginia Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday except on Labor Day, September 5.

Both online and printed applications are available in English, Spanish, Amharic and Farsi. Recipients of Section 8, Continuum of Care, HOME or VASH housing vouchers are not eligible for the program.

A Community Clinic will be held at Virginia Avenue Park on September 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments are required and can be made by calling (310) 458-2201, ext. 5771.

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