City & Community Support Provide Critical Financial Lifeline

One of Cambridge’s earliest actions in response to the emerging public health crisis was Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and City Manager Louis A. DePasquale activating the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund to provide emergency assistance to individuals and families in Cambridge experiencing extreme financial hardship. Since March, more than $4.7 million in donations have been received from hundreds of generous residents and local corporations.

“Our goal was to provide relief to residents and small businesses who have been struggling due to the pandemic,” said Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui. “To date, we have assisted over 1,500 individuals, families, and small businesses through this Fund. I am proud that the City continues to look at new approaches to support our community. I thank every donor who made this critical assistance possible.”

As of mid-August, $3.7 million in funds have been distributed so far – $500,000 to support small business grants (see page 4) and over $3.2 million to individuals and families. The initial round of funding was allocated for rent and utility payments or other household needs. Funds were also provided for mortgage payments for homes purchased through the City’s affordable homeownership programs. Checks were distributed from April through June. Each household was eligible to receive up to $4,000.

Financial Support Chart

Identifying Additional Housing Support

The City Administration knew this pandemic would go through many different phases and would have long-lasting effects in our community. Recognizing that the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund could only be one part of a larger support package, the City looked for additional sources of funds to further help residents, but also support non-profits.

In July, City Manager Louis A. DePasquale announced the creation of a COVID-19 Housing Stabilization Program to provide short-term financial assistance to individuals and families in Cambridge who are experiencing housing instability due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This program is the City’s next phase of financial assistance for housing-related needs,” said City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “I am incredibly proud that we can expand our efforts to help residents who need housing assistance. Through this new program, the City is providing $1.5 million in direct support to help individuals and families who are facing housing instability due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The program subsidizes eligible households whose rent, condominium fees, or cooperative carrying charges are more than 40% of their income at the time of application. Qualified applicants will receive a two-month subsidy for the amount by which their housing cost exceeds 40% of the household’s current income.

The program is administered jointly by the City Manager’s Office through the Office of the Housing Liaison, the Department of Human Services Programs through the Multi-Service Center, and the Community Development Department. Residents can learn more at Cambridgema.gov/housingfund.

Housing Relief Chart

Supporting 106 Non-Profits to Help City’s Vulnerable Residents

Cambridge’s non-profit community provides basic needs and other critical supports for low-income, under-resourced, and vulnerable families and individuals at risk. To ensure these providers can give need support to our community, the City provided over $1 Million in grants through the Community Benefits Stabilization Fund. 106 non-profit organizations (501c3) received $10,000 grants to provide services to vulnerable Cambridge residents during the COVID-19 emergency and recovery.

Page was posted on 8/27/2020 2:10 PM
Page was last modified on 8/28/2020 6:25 PM
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