Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Council Approves $4 Million for Renters, Small Businesses, Farmers
gvw_david_taub
By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 4 years ago on
May 15, 2020

Share

The Fresno City Council voted to take the next step on two grant programs, one for small businesses and one for residents to keep their homes, with a 6-1 vote Thursday.

But, ambiguity in the resolution’s language could run afoul of federal and state laws when it comes to granting money to noncitizens, one councilman warned.

With the approval, the city will establish a $1.5 million Housing Retention Grant Program, providing $500 for individuals and $1,000 for multi-person households to help with rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Details about how the program is administered still need to be worked out by the council and city staff.

Changes to Prior Version

Councilman Garry Bredefeld objected to housing funds going to undocumented immigrants and voted against the housing and small business grants.

The council had voted 4-3 at its April 25 meeting on a similar housing program that will be superseded by today’s action.

The prior version said priority would be given to those who may not qualify for federal funds. Bredefeld interpreted that as meaning that funds would go to undocumented immigrants.

The Center for American Liberty, led by civil rights attorney Harmeet Dhillon, sent the council a letter saying such an action could be illegal under federal and state laws.

While there is no specific language about residency in the resolution — other than living within the city — it does say that federal stimulus money will be used “to the extent legally available.”

Luis Chavez, one of resolution’s three co-authors along with Esmeralda Soria and Paul Caprioglio, defended giving aid to undocumented immigrants.

“These are the people the federal government deemed essential, but (didn’t) give assistance. … It is hypocritical,” Chavez said.

Several residents also shared concerns about the undocumented being left out.

No Support for Bredefeld Actions

Bredefeld said he wanted to support the Save Our Small Businesses funding, but he didn’t receive support to separate it from the housing grants.

He also received no support for ensuring that only legal residents receive aid.

Caprioglio and Mike Karbassi voted no the last time the housing support proposal came to the council. Caprioglio said this version helps both renters and landlords.

The housing grant program allows landlords to apply on the condition that they forgive late rent and not charge penalties for back rent.

A worried wife and husband with pet dog sitting at a table with piles of billsman
The Fresno City Council approved $500 for individuals and $1,000 for multi-person households to help with rent during the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, May 14, 2020. (Shutterstock)

More Money for Small Businesses

The council voted to add $2 million to the Save Our Small Businesses fund for a second round of aid. To comply with federal funding, the program is a grant.

The first round of the act saw 116 businesses receive forgivable zero-interest loans between $5,000 and $10,000.

The council said the money would be distributed equally through the seven council districts, and a lottery would determine the recipients if there are more applicants than funds.

In a separate action, the council voted 7-0 to fund a $500,000 grant program for micro farmers in the city.

“Our Southeast Asian farmers were not able to secure any funding from earlier efforts,” said Blong Xiong, executive director of Asian Business Institute Resource Center. “These funds will not
only assist these business owners, but will also feed constituents in our community who are experiencing food insecurity.”

[activecampaign form=27]

DON'T MISS

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

DON'T MISS

Police Tangle With Students in Texas and California as Wave of Campus Protest Against Gaza War Grows

DON'T MISS

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

DON'T MISS

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

DON'T MISS

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

DON'T MISS

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

DON'T MISS

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

DON'T MISS

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

DON'T MISS

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

DON'T MISS

Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees

UP NEXT

Ancestry Website to Catalogue Names of Japanese Americans Incarcerated During World War II

UP NEXT

Fresno County Appoints New Librarian. What’s Her Favorite Book Genre?

UP NEXT

Costa Seeks Legislation to Prevent Reedley Lab Repeat

UP NEXT

Legacy of Speed: The 1,600 Horsepower 1957 ‘Skeva’ Chevy Bel Air Built in Fresno

UP NEXT

KMJ’s Gabriel & Musson Win Radio Honors, Fresno Council Plaudits

UP NEXT

Fresno’s Baklava House Entices Foodies With Its Delicious Flavors

UP NEXT

Google Fires More Workers Who Protested Its Deal With Israel

UP NEXT

What Do Supreme Court Justices Say About Homelessness?

UP NEXT

Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson Pledged $10M for Maui Wildfire Survivors. They Gave Much More.

UP NEXT

Did Fresno Unified’s Biggest Contractor Not Pay Its Workers? Company Still Gets Millions After Civil Penalty

David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

12 hours ago

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

12 hours ago

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

14 hours ago

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

Local Education /

15 hours ago

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

16 hours ago

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

16 hours ago

Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees

17 hours ago

About 1 in 4 US Adults Over 50 Say They Expect to Never Retire, an AARP Study Finds

17 hours ago

Biden Signs a $95 Billion War Aid Measure With Assistance for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

17 hours ago

Ancestry Website to Catalogue Names of Japanese Americans Incarcerated During World War II

18 hours ago

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

Boeing said Wednesday that it lost $355 million on falling revenue in the first quarter, another sign of the crisis gripping the aircraft ma...

11 hours ago

11 hours ago

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

11 hours ago

Police Tangle With Students in Texas and California as Wave of Campus Protest Against Gaza War Grows

CA District 27 Assembly candidate Joanna Garcia Rose
11 hours ago

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

12 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

12 hours ago

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

14 hours ago

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

Local Education /
15 hours ago

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

16 hours ago

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend