ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL ENACTS SENIOR SAFETY NET
The Anaheim City Council on Tuesday voted to enact a housing assistance program aimed at helping seniors facing sudden financial hardships in covering housing costs. The city’s first-ever Senior Safety Net is a pilot program that allocates $645,000 in federal housing grant funds for senior assistance.
“For the past 25 years, I’ve dedicated my life to caring for senior citizens,” said Anaheim City Council Member Trevor O’Neil, who authored the program. In addition to his role as an elected city council member, O’Neil also operates an in-home care business serving seniors in Orange County. “Our elderly residents are among the most vulnerable in our community, and I hear regularly from families who want their loved ones to be able to remain in their homes as independent as possible, for as long as possible,” O’Neil said.
The program is aimed at providing temporary financial assistance for senior citizens facing a financial hardship due to unforeseen circumstances such as a medical condition, loss of a family member, dramatic rent increase or other circumstance leading to hardship in paying for housing costs. Senior Safety Net allocates existing federal housing dollars granted to the city, along with other existing funds, to provide case management and short-term housing cost support for seniors based on eligibility requirements and availability of funds. The program does not impact Anaheim’s General Fund, protecting taxpayers and preserving funding for public safety and other vital city services.
The program is expected to be finalized by Jan. 1, 2020. More information will be available soon at the city’s website (www.anaheim.net) for seniors wishing to apply for assistance.
First elected in 2018, Council Member O’Neil represents Anaheim’s District 6 in east Anaheim. Housing affordability and availability has been among O’Neil’s top priorities. In addition to Senior Safety Net, O’Neil formed an Ad Hoc Committee on Housing to address housing needs at all levels in Anaheim. The committee is expected to provide additional recommendations to the full Anaheim City Council soon.