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The Costa Mesa City Council is expected to vote Tuesday night to allocate around $390,000 of its coronavirus relief funds for a new rental assistance program.


Editors’ Note: This dispatch is part of the Voice of OC Youth Media program, working with student journalists to cover public policy issues across Orange County. If you would like to submit your own student media project related to Orange County civics or if you have any response to this work, contact Digital Editor Sonya Quick at squick@voiceofoc.org.


The Department of Housing and Urban Development notified the city in early April that it would receive $668,658 in a first round of Community Development Block Grant coronavirus money, according to a staff report.

The City Council will consider approving two agreements Tuesday with nonprofit organizations, Serving People in Need, Inc. and Mercy House Living Centers, for program administration, costing no more than $207,000 and $180,321 respectively, according to the staff report.

Santa Ana-based Mercy House Living Centers specializes in assisting at-risk or homeless individuals, while Costa Mesa-based Serving People in Need specializes in helping at-risk or homeless families, so city staff recommends contracting with both entities to administer the program.

According to the staff report, the rental assistance program provides residents experiencing a loss of income, directly related to COVID-19, with up to $6,000 per household or a maximum three months full rent, whichever is less.

The awareness of the additional need to temporarily assist households unable to meet rental obligations came after City Council feedback at a study session in September, as well as previous meetings.

The council meeting will take place Tuesday at 6 p.m. via Zoom. 

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