SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif — City leaders held a news conference Monday to consider an item to allocate $16.8 million in state and federal funds to help qualifying Chula Vista residents pay past-due and upcoming rent, and to provide funds for payment of water, sewer, gas and electric bills. City officials said the payments will be made to those affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chula Vista City Council voted Tuesday to pass the funding item 4-0, with 1 abstaining.
Steve Padilla, the former mayor of Chula Vista knows all too well the life-changing impact that COVID-19 can have on someone. "I was critically ill. I had single organ failure, a severe case. Ended up on a ventilator in intensive care at UCSD for 11 days," he said.
Fortunately, Steve is one of the lucky ones who was able to return to his home in Chula Vista, the same community he grew up in.
“I know the struggles that people are going through and I know that on top of the housing crisis that we already have, now we have an added dimension, economic dimension to the pandemic and it’s making it exponentially more difficult," he said. “I hear all the time from constituents from residents and businesses that they’re trying to be creative, they’re trying to hang in there, but it’s getting tough and people really do need relief.”
As for the qualifications, city officials said applicants must be current on all rent prior to the start of the pandemic which was back in March 2020. Also, you cannot be receiving any other form of rental subsidy such as Section 8.
Applicants must be able to provide proof of financial hardship due to COVID-19. Some examples are job loss, being furloughed or laid off, reduced hours at work, closure of a business and medical complications due to COVID-19. Qualifying residents must provide all documentation along with their application or they will be immediately disqualified and unable to reapply.
For more information on the city of Chula Vista's COVID-19 rental and utility assistance program, visit the city's website here.
The City Council is expected to vote on this item Tuesday, February 16 at 5 p.m.