County launches rental assistance program for fire victims

The County of Ventura Board of Supervisors has approved the use of $500,000 in General Fund to establish a rental assistance program for eligible residents who cannot return to their homes due to the impact of local wildfires.  The program, which expands upon current rental assistance programs for low-income households administered by the County of Ventura Human Services Agency, will began accepting applications Wednesday, December 13th

Eligibility criteria for the program include:  county residency; displacement from housing due to local wildfires; financial ability to maintain housing after receiving assistance; and a household income up to 120% of the median income for the local area, based on household size.  The yearly income limit for a household of one person, for example, is $84,000.  For a household of two, the income limit is $96,000, and for a household of four, the income limit is $119,880.

 “Short term rental assistance will help our lower and middle income neighbors who lost their homes get back on their feet more quickly,” said Steve Bennett, County Supervisor for the First District. “Individuals and families with children need the stability of a home to regain some normalcy in their lives and return to work or school while they make longer term plans.”

The new program may offer eligible fire victims help with:  interim housing, rental payments, replacement of household and personal items, moving and storage costs, rental deposits, utility deposits and payments, and credit counseling, as needed.  Barry Zimmerman, Human Services Agency Director stated, “We have years of experience running similar programs successfully, so we can implement this one quickly and ensure that assistance begins to flow.”

Beginning Wednesday, December 13th, information about applying for this new program may be found in English and Spanish on the Ventura County Recovers website, which provides a comprehensive source of information for all matters relating to fire recovery, and on the Ventura County Human Services Agency’s web site (www.vchsa.org/help).

Ventura County Recovers: www.VenturaCountyRecovers.org

Human Services Agency:  www.vchsa.org/help

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