In a Facebook Live address Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Rick Kriseman announced that he would bring forward an item to St. Petersburg City Council Thursday to approve more than $1 million for rent, mortgage and utility assistance for qualifying individuals.
The funding allocation, which would come from state and federal programs, was approved by the Housing, Land Use and Transportation (HLUT) committee last Thursday.
The city has about $1.6 million from two federal grants designed for Covid-19 relief. The city will also receive State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program disaster funding from Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund, distributed by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, totaling $88,635, in addition to the previously allocated $378,209 in SHIP dollars approved by the City Council in July 2019.
According to Kriseman, the city intends to use the funding for rent, mortgage and utility assistance for low-to-moderate income residents. He said the funds would be distributed to qualifying households through city staff and community partners.
According to City Council documents, some of the federal funding would be used to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID19) among individuals and families who are homeless or receiving homeless assistance; and to support additional homeless assistance and homelessness prevention activities to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.” The appropriated dollars would be used as follows:
- Emergency Rental/Utility Assistance:
- Catholic Charities $242,803 for direct assistance / $19,478 for program delivery
- Boley Centers $242,803 for direct assistance / $19,478 for program delivery
- City Administration $15,000
Other parts of the federal funds would be used as follows:
- City Administration $202,575
- Emergency Rental/Mortgage/Utility Assistance $517,614
- Projects to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19 crisis $380,756
Kriseman explained that these funds would be used “in addition to the millions of dollars that we’ve granted to hundreds of business owners and individuals in our city through the Fighting Chance Fund,” a city Covid-19 relief fund that has so far distributed $2.1 million to individuals and businesses within the city through $500 individual grants and $5,000 small business grants.