Over 33,000 apply for affordable housing
The Santa Monica Housing Division received over 33,000 applications in 35 hours for the waiting list for all affordable housing programs City Hall administers, including the Section 8 Program.
The Housing Division attributes the overwhelming response to community effort, citing local media and organizations for spreading the word about the programs.
“We did an incredible job of outreaching,” said Julie Lansing, housing authority administrator. “We really went above and beyond as far as outreach.”
Social media is also believed to have played a key role in the response, with sites like Twitter and Facebook being used to spread the information about the programs.
“Staff spoke with applicants about how they heard about the waiting list, and this is how they heard,” Lansing said.
According to self-reported data from the applicants, 3,919 of those who applied are Santa Monica residents, 173 of whom are veterans.
Applicants came in from as far afield as Canada, but Santa Monica residents get seniority.
“We have local preference,” Lansing said. “Those applicants that live in Santa Monica, work in Santa Monica full time or are homeless in Santa Monica will go to the top of the list.”
City Hall can only grant four vouchers for affordable housing each month.
“The reality is we can only help a limited number of people,” Lansing said.
City Hall will apply for more vouchers and for ways to bring in more housing programs and help current housing programs grow, she added.
— Colin Newton
Free compost for residents
“Bring your own pail,” advises the Santa Monica Resource Recovery and Recycling Division concerning the upcoming quarterly “Compost Giveaway.”
This event returns residents’ green cart waste in the form of nutrient rich compost that can be used to improve soil health, increase plant production and reduce the use of chemical fertilizers, according to the Resource Recovery and Recycling Division.
The giveaway will be held on Aug. 27 in the City Yards at 2500 Michigan Ave. The event will last from 7 a.m. until the compost is gone.
Quantities of compost will be limited per resident, so don’t be greedy with the greens.
For more information, call (310) 458-8528.