Community Corporation of Santa Monica opened its doors to new applicants earlier this month, kicking off the long, competitive process for affordable housing for low to moderate income households.

The multi-step system begins with applicants picking up an appointment card at 502 Colorado Ave. (from the Community Room). That card will specify a date and time for a January seminar where applicants will fill out a questionnaire to join the Marketing List.

Appointment cards are available from Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Dec. 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30.

Community Corp. said exact income requirements to qualify for its units varies based on Federal, State and local housing programs.

“As an estimate, the lowest income for one person is approximately $1,380 per month. If you have a Section 8 Voucher, there is no minimum income,” said their Frequently Asked Questions document.

Aside from income qualifications, prospective tenants cannot have been evicted in the past five years or have more than $2,500 in negative credit. Personal and property crime convictions within the last five years are also reasons for denial.

According to Community Corp., between 3,000 and 5,000 people apply each year, but the annual turnover rate is usually less than 2 percent or fewer than 120 units.

When a unit does become available, Community Corp. invites 30-60 people to tour the unit. Invitees are randomly selected from the pool of applicants that fit the requirements for that unit.

If applicants do not attend the open house or reject the unit prior to filing an application, they are returned to the list for another opportunity. If a household has their application processed and turns down the unit they are removed from the list for the remainder of that list year but are able to apply the following year.

If the potential renters do like the unit, they get an application and the process becomes first-come, first-serve.

The first household that returns that application, with everything filled out correctly and all the signatures, gets in another line. All adult members of the household must pass a credit and background screening. Community Corp. is required by its funding sources to independently verify all of the information. They check with banks and employers.

Rent varies from apartment to apartment, but Community Corp. estimates price ranges: Studios go for anywhere from $437 to $1,195 per month; one-bedroom apartments range from $466 to $1,366; two-bedroom apartments range from $560 to $1,622 monthly; and a three-bedroom could range from $647 to $1,853 monthly. These amounts are subject to change and are only estimates based on current funding source guidelines.

Depending on the funding source requirements, estimated annual income ranges, per household are: A one-person household minimum income of $17,150, not to exceed $47,840; two-person household minimum $19,600, not to exceed $54,720; three-person household minimum $22,050; not to exceed $61,520; four-person household minimum income of $24,450, not to exceed $68,320; five-person household minimum income $26,450, not to exceed $73,840; and a six-person household minimum income $28,450, not to exceed $79,280. These amounts are subject to change and are only estimates based on current funding source guidelines.

For more information, call (310) 394.8487 or visit communitycorp.org.

editor@www.smdp.com