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New Program to help Oakland residents pay rent.

Madison Park Apartments, Oakland, CA
Flickr / Creative Commons
Madison Park Apartments, Oakland, CA

Two hundred Oakland residents are taking part in a 3.4 million dollar rental assistance pilot program, Mayor Libby Schaaf announced at a virtual press conference on Tuesday. Participants will receive a “shallow subsidy” averaging $750 per-month. The pilot, while announced on Tuesday, began in July and will run for 18 months.

According to the mayor's office, subsidy recipients were selected from another rental assistance program called Keep Oakland Housed. Applicants were prioritized if they lived in “historically disenfranchised” neighborhoods. And also if they have experienced homelessness, and if they were paying more than half of their income on rent.

The federal government considers a household “rent burdened,” if the tenants spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent. They are considered “severely rent burdened,” if they spend over 50 percent. Currently, about 75 percent of Black renters in Oakland are “rent burdened.”

The Oakland Fund for Public Innovation raised the 3.4 million dollars needed for the program.