Millions of Americans are out of work and struggling to make ends meet due to the ongoing public health crisis. In response, last week San Antonio City Council officially allocated $25 million to help pay the bills of those affected by COVID-19's economic fallout.
Eligible residents can apply for financial assistance from the COVID-19 Emergency Housing Assistance Program for rent, groceries, gas, utilities and medicine. Families can receive up to $3,500 for rent or mortgage payments, $1,500 for utilities and $300 for other essential expenses.
Who qualifies to receive assistance and what are the requirements? Will funds be allocated in time to help with rent and mortgage payments due at the beginning of May? Where does this money come from? How will the program impact the city's already coronavirus-affected budget?
The longer this outbreak wreaks havoc on the global economy, the more support people will need. Is the program sustainable long-term? How are local nonprofits also responding and working with the city to struggling San Antonio households some much-needed financial relief?
Individuals wishing to make contributions of $10 or more to the COVID-19 Emergency Housing Assistance Program can donate online here or text “HousingHelpSA” to 41444. Businesses, corporations and philanthropic partners should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Verónica Soto, director of the City of San Antonio's Neighborhood and Housing Services Department
- Roberto Treviño, San Antonio City Council representative for District 1
- Celina Peña, board president for the San Antonio Housing Trust Foundation
- Patricia Mejia, vice president of community engagement and impact for the San Antonio Area Foundation
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*This interview was recorded on Thursday, April 30.
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