Mayor's Corner: The City Of Lakewood Delivers
In these unprecedented times, everyone is strained to fulfill commitments, but the City of Lakewood is delivering. My first priority is protecting the health and safety of our residents, workers, shoppers, diners, and visitors. That has meant an emphasis from my administration on ensuring that all City services have been open and available to the public every step of the way. While many cities are laying off staff, the City of Lakewood has been able to maintain services while cutting costs. By reducing overtime and instituting a voluntary furlough program, we have saved the City nearly $700,000. If you need an in-person meeting, City Hall is open for appointments.
I am taking a 360-degree approach to all City policies, services, and operations during the pandemic and beyond. We have expanded dining space for our restaurants. We have created express parking permits for carry-out/drop-off businesses. I have been working with my team to develop a set of new grant programs--the Residential Rent Relief grant program and Small Business Rent Relief grant program--to help both residential and commercial landlords and renters to get through these difficult times.
The City of Lakewood’s Small Business Rent Relief grant program provides emergency assistance to income-eligible Lakewood small businesses that have experienced a reduction in revenue as a result of the current public health emergency. Assistance is up to $7,000 per business to cover rent and eligible payroll expenses. In the early days of the quarantine, my team created the Small Business Rent Relief grant program to ensure City resources were supporting the small business community in a direct, streamlined, and useful way. In this second round of the grant program, more resources are available and we adjusted eligibility requirements to reach applicants in need who may not have qualified during our initial rollout. To learn more about the Small Business Rent Relief grant program, visit http://www.onelakewood.com/rent-relief-program/.
The City of Lakewood’s Residential Rent Relief grant program provides support, retroactive to April 1, 2020, to Lakewood tenants who are income-eligible according to HUD 2020 Income Guidelines. All rent payments will be made directly to landlords on the tenant’s behalf. The City of Lakewood is utilizing approximately $1.5 million in CARES Act funding to prevent housing instability and displacement among low-moderate income Lakewood tenants who are unable to pay their rent due to pandemic-related economic hardships. To learn more about the Residential Rent Relief grant program, visit http://www.onelakewood.com/residential-rent-assistance-program/.
I understood at the very beginning of this pandemic that the public health crisis was the front end of the equation—the economic fallout would be severe. We are still waiting for our federal leaders to provide us all with the relief we need, but, in the interim, some federal dollars have reached us and I am pleased to offer these unique grant programs to support our residents and small businesses. As vibrant as our community is, we are vulnerable to the kind of disruption or total shutdown that has resulted from the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. I want to do everything within the power of the Mayor’s Office to support our community. I’m grateful for the support of our partners, LakewoodAlive, the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, the Lakewood Community Services Center, and CHN Housing Partners, for their roles in making this happen for Lakewood small businesses and residents.
Looking forward, please enjoy these last days of summer, complete your Census, check in on your neighbors, and remember that we're in this together. Let's be part of the solution, Lakewood.