Inglewood Assistant City Manager/CFO David Esparza is requesting city council allocate additional funding for the COVID-19 Debit Card Program. Esparza is seeking an additional $275,000 from the city’s reserves while the city awaits reimbursement from the CARES Act Treasury’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.
On August 11, 2020, Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts presented an initiative to create two COVID-19 Relief Programs to assist low-income, unemployed and underemployed Inglewood residents. The programs were designed to assist with paying back owed rent and other basic needs from funds tied to the Corona Virus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The initiative requested $2 million from the city’s reserves and the request has now grown to $2,275,000 in order to increase the benefits being offered to the city’s most vulnerable.
The program established a Debit Card Program which would be lottery based and provide a debit card with $500 to the recipient. Esparza is seeking to increase the amount to $1,000 per recipient. With 1,275 applications received the total cost of the Debit Card Program is $1.275 million.
The other program was designed for Rent Relief. The program originally provided for two months of rental arrears payments for residents behind on their rent. Esparza is now seeking to increase the arrears payments to cover three months of back owed rent. According to the August 11, 2020 staff report, the city received $827, 507 in funding from the CDBG CV fund and supplement an additional $172,493 totaling $1 million.
The increased rental assistance funding is due to additional funding being made available to Inglewood in the amount of $1,035,671 from the same CDBG CV funding source.
According to the city only 275 applications were received for the rent relief program.
According to Councilman Alex Padilla every effort would be made to promote the programs to the residents, to ensure helping as many residents as possible, however, based on these numbers, those who applied are guaranteed funding since there was no overwhelming demand for the program.
The city has since removed all mentions of the aforementioned programs from the city’s website.
Did you know about either the Debit Card or Rent Relief programs offered by the city? Were you able to apply? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story.