By DAVID LOPEZ
Last week, San Benito City Commissioners approved the SBCARES Hardship Assistance Program aimed at providing financial assistance to residents who have experienced financial hardship due to temporary or permanent loss of employment income.
Those who qualify can receive up to $500 for utilities, not to exceed three months, to pay for utility payments, including water/trash/sewer bills, gas, and electric bills. In addition, the funds can also be used to help renters and homeowners pay for overdue rent/mortgage payments. Renters and homeowners can receive up to $1,000 for rent/mortgage per month, not to exceed three months.
Applications for the program will be accepted from October 1, 2020, to January 29, 2021, with applications being accepted Monday through Friday during regular business hours.
To be eligible for this program, San Benito residents must meet the following criteria:
• Must live in the city limits of San Benito
• Assistance will only be provided for overdue amounts from March 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020
• All households must demonstrate a financial hardship due to loss of income from employment due to COVID-19, and provide documentation that renders the household unable to pay rent, mortgage, or utilities.
• Be the primary lease or mortgage holder in a single-family home in the city limits.
• May only apply for rent, mortgage, or utility assistance related to one primary property.
• Total household income must be at or below 120 percent of the Area Median Income.
• Rental assistance may not be provided to households currently receiving a federal housing subsidy or living in federally subsidized housing unit/complex or any housing with a federally insured mortgage.
The City of San Benito will assess applications to determine eligibility and the exact amount of financial assistance available to each qualifying household and administer assistance directly to the provider/property owner, financial institution for rent or mortgage, and/or utility provider.
Information and applications are available on the City of San Benito website’s homepage (www.cityofsanbenito.com).