Skip to main content

BREAKING NEWS: WATCH: KPBS Evening Edition is live

ALERT: KPBS 89.5FM is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in a temporary signal outage. Click here to listen on our radio stream.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Friday Night Event In City Heights Looks To Help Residents Tap Rental And Utility Aid Programs

An aerial view of apartments in City Heights. Dec. 1, 2020.

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: An aerial view of apartments in City Heights. Dec. 1, 2020.

For much of the pandemic, local programs helping people pay their rent or utility bills were not enough to keep up with demand. Within days of opening, rental assistance programs ran out of money, as the pandemic dragged on.

That’s not the case anymore, as both federal aid and a booming state budget surplus has begun filtering down to local governments. Now, many advocates say what’s needed is outreach, to get to those communities that haven’t been able to get to the front of what was once a desperate line.

Reported by Max Rivlin-Nadler

RELATED: Housing Needs Report Reveals Depths Of Affordable Housing Shortage

On Friday night, the Partnership for a Better San Diego, a coalition of local labor groups, along with SDG&E and the city of San Diego, will hold an outdoor event in City Heights meant to connect residents with these aid programs.

Listen to this story by Max Rivlin-Nadler.

“Right now the rent funds and utility assistance relief are available, and people might not know it, but it’s there,” said Sandra Williams with the Partnership for a Better San Diego. “The challenge is people knowing how to apply. We’re here to bridge that gap.”

Sandra Williams says one of the main barriers between the community and aid is technology.

RELATED: Undocumented Immigrants May Get More Stimulus Payments From Gov. Newsom

“We’re there to help them create an email. Upload documents they need. They don’t have a scanner or camera phone. We’re here to do that for them,” she said.

The event will run from 5 p.m. through 730 p.m. tonight at 4265 Fairmount Ave in City Heights. Translation services will be available for several languages, as the coalition is trying to cast as large a net as possible, for a neighborhood still struggling through the pandemic.

Already at least 300 people are expected to show up. The coalition behind the event is already planning for future outreach efforts in other hard-hit parts of San Diego.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Photo of Max Rivlin-Nadler

Max Rivlin-Nadler
Speak City Heights Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover City Heights, a neighborhood at the intersection of immigration, gentrification, and neighborhood-led health care initiatives. I'm interested in how this unique neighborhood deals with economic inequality during an unprecedented global health crisis.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.