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‘Lift to Rise’ to launch rental assistance fund for local families

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Local nonprofit 'Lift to Rise will launch a new rental assistance fund on June 1.

The fund has more $2 million in initial seed commitments to help valley families impacted by coronavirus shutdowns be able to stay in their homes.

The organization and its partners are currently working on establishing eligibility priorities to help distribute assistance for the housing fund.

“There are no shortcuts to housing stability. We need to provide enough assistance so people are made whole and actually pay their rent,” said Gary Painter, Professor and Director, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and Lift to Rise Board Member. “We know from research that emergency assistance that allows a household to pay the rent increases housing stability and reduces homelessness. The benefits of a prevention program like this can exceed the costs by a factor of 2 to 1.”

“Our Coachella Valley, a place already facing significant economic insecurity and rent burden, is now severely impacted by the near-collapse of the region’s tourism and entertainment economy, said Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “The ability of our region to come together like this and keep people in their houses reflects the values and spirit that remain so strong here despite our challenges.”

If you have any questions about the fund, send an email to eppsupport@lifttorise.org.

According to Lift to Rise's data, more than 6,000 people have sought help through its Economic Protection Plan. 60 percent of applicants report being out of work due to the coronavirus and 55 percent report incomes under $20,000.

More than 82 percent of applying households identify as Latino or Hispanic and 39% of respondents indicate having children age five or under in their household.

Financial support from the fund and many of the additional resources from Lift to Rise are available to Coachella Valley qualifying residents regardless of citizenship status.

Visit lifttorise.org/protection for additional information.

Lift to Rise set up a two-year Action Plan. Organizers say the goal of the plan is to build towards a future where all Coachella Valley families are healthy, stable, and thriving. The third phase of the action plan is expected to involve efforts to reduce the number of rent-burdened Coachella Valley households. As part of this phase, Lift to Rise plans to launc the Housing Catalyst Fund in early Fall 2020.

Organizations supporting these effort include Lift to Rise, United Way of the Desert, Regional Access Project Foundation, Desert Healthcare District, Inland Empire Community Foundation, Inland Empire Health Plan, Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Coachella Valley Visitors Bureau, Desert Community Energy, and the County of Riverside Office of Supervisor Perez, Executive Office, Housing Authority, Workforce Development Centers, and Departments of Public Social Services and Public Health

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Jesus Reyes

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