SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - People in Santa Barbara County now have another lifeline to survive the COVID-19 economic crisis.
The Board of Supervisors allocated more than $13 million to rental and utility assistance.
United Way of Santa Barbara County will distribute the funds to eligible residents, who have faced a loss in income due to the pandemic and meet other income requirements.
Applicants can receive up to $6,000 over three months, and can reapply every three months to a maximum of 15 months. Tenants can apply separately for help paying utility bills.
“We’re focused on a tenant-first approach,” said Steve Ortiz, United Way of Santa Barbara County’s president and CEO. “Landlords can also seek support. Utility companies have been calling us as well to see how they can be supported for those who have not paid their bills.”
So far, the demand has been staggering.
“In two and a half days in managing this program since’s it’s opened, we’ve had over 1500 applications that have been started,” said Ortiz, who urged all who need help to apply as soon as possible.
Those looking to apply or find the full list of requirements can visit UWSBC's website.
The city of Goleta this week approved its own aid package of $166,500, of which $100,000 will go to Goleta families through United Way of Santa Barbara County and the remaining $66,500 will go to small businesses through the Santa Barbara Foundation.
“They have a proven track record of getting funding to people who are in need,” city spokesperson Kelly Hoover said of those organizations. “We may be a small city and we may have limited funding, but we’re really trying to do what we can to help where we can.”
Goleta residents and families looking for help can apply here. More information on Goleta's small business relief through the Santa Barbara Foundation will be available on Friday.