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Grant Funding on Tuesday's Agenda

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By Jorge Casuso

May 3, 2023 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to give the go-ahead to seek a $5 million housing grant from the State and to hand out more than $10 million in human services grants.

The City received a total of 31 program proposals that totaled $11.6 million and has $10,146,000 in funding available for the upcoming four-year cycle that ends in June 2027, according to City staff.

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The Human Services Grants Program (HSGP) proposals recommended for funding by staff focus on housing, food, employment, mental health, senior services, early childhood education and vulnerable youth.

"Notably, the top two goals addressed in this portfolio are increasing economic wellbeing and increasing the number of households who receive appropriate supports to maintain stable, quality housing," staff wrote in a report to the Council.

The programs recommended for funding "are responsive to a broad range of community needs, include existing and new services, and advance City Council priorities," staff wrote.

A total of 24 agencies -- seven of them new applicants -- submitted proposals to fund 31 programs, 15 of them new, and committed to provide $19.9 million in matching funds, according to staff.

"The combination of proposals for new and existing programs serves the full range of Santa Monica’s HSGP priority populations, including people with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, seniors, youth and families, and other underserved populations," staff wrote.

Staff recommended increasing allocations to seven programs run by four agencies that currently receive funding.

The People Concern and WISE & Healthy Aging would receive funding for two programs each, while Meals on Wheels, St. Joseph Center and Westside Food Bank would each receive funding for one program.

The Council also is expected to authorize a matching grant application for $5 million from the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to build affordable housing units.

Applying for a Local Housing Trust Fund (LHTF) grant requires the City to match the amount on a dollar-for dollar basis or by contributing City owned land to build the units, staff said.

The City has identified 24 City properties where affordable units can be built to help meet the 6,200 affordable units it must plan for over the next eight years in order to fulfill its State housing quota.

Santa Monica was awarded the maximum $5 million grant in the program’s application rounds in 2020 and 2021.

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