Solana Beach to establish rental relief program

Solana Beach City Hall
(Staff file photo)

Solana Beach will establish a financial relief program aimed at tenants who have fallen behind on their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Solana Beach City Council unanimously voted Sept. 23 to move forward with the program, which will be funded with approximately $62,000 from the CARES Act approved by Congress earlier this year. The city will look into a partnership with a nonprofit organization that can administer the program.

“There aren’t a whole lot of options for these individuals right now, (whereas) there are food banks operating in San Diego where people can get food at this point, even though it’s certainly easier if it’s in Solana Beach,” Solana Beach City Councilman David Zito said. “And there are forms of assistance for other things at this point in time, and this is probably one of the more difficult things to make up.”

Establishing a food program was one of the other options council members could have chosen from.

Council members discussed giving grants worth about $2,500 each to local tenants in need. Potential grantees would have to provide documentation to prove their financial status, including landlord verification that they fell behind on rent after the pandemic began.

The state of California received $9.5 million from the CARES Act and distributed $500 million among cities with populations of less than 500,000, because those cities were not eligible to receive funding directly from the act. San Diego County has also distributed CARES Act funding to local cities.

The city has received more than $400,000 in CARES Act funding from the state and county, according to a city staff report.

Solana Beach council members previously instituted a small business relief program with approximately $200,000 in CARES Act funding. The council put another $145,000 of it in the general fund to be used for pandemic-related expenses.