Image by Nick Youngson
Written by Edward Smith
In an effort to curb what some feel could be a deluge of foreclosures, the City of Fresno made available $1.5 million for rent, mortgage or utility payments to qualifying residents.
Applications are available now for the first wave of housing retention grants through six organizations chosen by members of the Fresno City Council, “with the goal to specifically relieve the pressures of those who have lost their jobs or their income as a direct result of Covid,” said Fresno City Councilmember Miguel Arias.
Qualifications will be determined based on household size and income. Grants are limited to residents of Fresno. Applicants will have to demonstrate they have been affected financially by the disease.
The checks of $1,500 for individuals and $3,000 for families can be received as early as next week, said Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria. Money will be awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis, she said, but she encourages all applications to be made in the next 10 days.
They hope to be able to serve between 500-1,000 households.
Luis Santana, executive director of Reading and Beyond, said they have already received several calls for relief money.
Yolanda Randles with the West Fresno Family Resource Center encouraged applicants to leave messages as they are already busy taking applications.
Applications can be made in-person, over the phone and at the organization’s websites.
Arias said the Fresno City Council chose to disburse the money through nonprofits because of their ability to mobilize the money rather than hiring staff at Fresno City Hall to process applications.
“We selected these organizations because of their strategic locations and because of the work they have already done,” said Arias.
This will be the first wave of money sent to households. Another round of $3.5 million will be made available in the coming weeks, said Soria.
“This is the first go-around so we can be perfecting the process,” she said.
View the eligibility requirements here.
Applications can be made at the following organizations:
Reading and Beyond — 214-0317
The Fresno Center — 898-2565
Centro La Familia — 237-2961
Educations & Leadership Foundation — 291-5428
Jakara Movement — 549-4088
West Fresno Family Resource Center — 621-2967