The City of Auburn is allocating roughly $150,000 from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to give residents financial emergency assistance. The City received $379,956 in total from the program.
To qualify for emergency assistance, a resident’s income would need to have been impacted by COVID, said community services director Al Davis. Their household income must also be within the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s limits.
“A lot of this is [decided] individually,” Davis said. “We have to look at each person’s household to determine whether or not they qualify … then we look at the chart to see if they fit within those income limits.”
The amount of funds given to each recipient is based on their needs. Money can be used for property rental, mortgages or utilities. Rental or mortgage funds will be determined by HUD Fair Market Rents, and utility funds will not exceed $2,000.
“We have some students seeking assistance as well,” Davis said. “As long as they meet the income requirements, they are just as eligible as anyone else. We have some students who are independent and have been greatly impacted by COVID with lost jobs or cut hours.”
If a student is residing in Auburn with an apartment, they may be eligible. The program requires an Auburn address.
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The program will last until the City runs out of funds. Davis expects the program to continue into 2021.
Recipients of the program cannot be public housing residents and cannot receive Section Eight housing assistance. For people who meet the four requirements, applications are available at the Community Development office on Boykin Street.
“We ask that people come by and pick up [the packet] because that gives us the opportunity to explain to the individual, … see if they have any questions about the application, questions about the documents that must be attached to the application,” Davis said. “That’s one of the first things we require people to do.”
The City received funds from the CARES Act because it is an Entitlement City, Davis said. Entitlement Cities throughout the country were given roughly $2 billion. The City determined its spending of the $379,956 through public hearings and City Council meetings.
“A considerable amount of [the money] is being used for the food bank,” Davis said. “The food bank is helping a tremendous amount of people in our community with food insecurity.”
The City also put money aside to help the homeless, youth services and senior programs.
“It’s a special program, to be able to help people during these tough times,” Davis said. “To be able to provide some assistance to families and individuals impacted by this pandemic has been very heartwarming to us. It’s put people in some tough spots. You might have people who are a couple months behind in rent, behind on their mortgage, might not be able to pay their power bill. These funds will go a long way in helping a lot of people.”
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