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To support its residents financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofit affordable housing developer Community HousingWorks is launching a Housing and Hunger Relief Fund to supplement local, state and federal assistance programs as the pandemic approaches the one-year mark.

COVID-19 has worsened economic inequality throughout the country, leaving many Community HousingWorks residents in more dire financial situations due to prolonged job loss, increased health care and utility costs, and a digital divide that requires internet access and devices to access critical public resources.

While local, state and federal assistance programs have provided a safety net for many households, significant needs still exist. Some Community HousingWorks residents are now in the same position they were in before they came to Community HousingWorks – making the impossible decision between paying for rent or paying for food.

The Community HousingWorks’ Housing and Hunger Relief Fund will raise $1 million to help hundreds of residents with their most urgent needs, including rental assistance, food and household essentials.

Funds raised will help Community HousingWorks’ residents who have applied to the program pay past due or upcoming rent, buy groceries, and receive access to financial coaches to help navigate financial hardship.

“While government assistance programs have provided critical support for many families, the prolonged impact of the pandemic continues to erode residents’ financial situations as they juggle these hardships month after month. Significant support is still needed,” said Sean Spear, president and CEO of Community HousingWorks.

Community HousingWorks is seeking donor contributions to raise $1 million to help hundreds of San Diegans weather the financial impacts of the pandemic, sustain the progress and stability they’ve achieved through Community HousingWorks, and continue their momentum toward a stronger future.

When the goal is reached, Community HousingWorks will be able to support more than 330 low-income households who applied for the organization’s Rental Assistance Program with up to $2,000 in rental assistance, food distribution, and financial coaching.

To jumpstart the campaign, a lead gift has been donated by Carlsbad-based Sun Country Builders. The construction company has partnered with Community HousingWorks’ on the development and rehabilitation of a number of its apartment communities in San Diego County.

In addition, Carlsbad-based nonprofit organization, Allgire Foundation, has partnered with Community HousingWorks to provide food to more than 400 households over three months of the campaign.

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