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County expands pilot shallow rental subsidy program for older adults

San Diego County is expanding a pilot shallow rental subsidy program for older adults to support an additional 160 older adults at risk of homelessness.  

The county Department of Homeless Solutions and Equitable Communities’ program will provide at-risk county residents over 55-years-old with a $500 monthly rental subsidy for 18 months. The money will go directly to participants’ landlords. 

Applications could be submitted starting Wednesday, May 22. The participants will be selected at random. Those selected will join 222 households previously chosen for the original pilot program in early 2023, which was subsequently approved for expansion by the county Board of Supervisors. 

“We are grateful the county board of supervisors prioritized our seniors and allocated additional funds to ease the burden of our county’s older adults and grandparents,” Barbara Jiménez, community operations officer for the county’s Health and Human Services Agency, said. “This is an important part of the puzzle to prevent vulnerable populations from falling into homelessness.” 

The county’s Aging Roadmap forecasts that San Diego’s 60 years or older population will grow to more than 910,000 people by 2030. The population 55 and older is expected to surpass 1.1 million. 

According to the 2023 We All Count Point-in-Time Count, people over the age of 55 make up 29% of the region’s unsheltered population. 

To apply for the Shallow Rental Subsidy Program, you must: 

• Be a San Diego resident 55 years or older at risk of homelessness. 

• Have a household income at or below 50% of the area median income. 

• Be severely rent burdened, paying more than 50% of your income toward housing costs. 

• Have a lease or rental agreement in your name and a landlord willing to participate in the program. 

• Not be receiving funds from another rental subsidy program. 

• Sign consent forms to participate in the program and an evaluation. 

People who have questions about the program should email their full name and contact information to [email protected] or call 619-780-3684. 


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