Frequently Asked Questions

How to apply for affordable rental housing with Community Corp.

I am looking for affordable rental housing and heard about Community Corporation of Santa Monica (Community Corp.) How do I apply for an apartment?

The first step is to join Community Corp.’s Housing Opportunity List (formerly known as the “Marketing List”). The Housing Opportunity List will be open through January 19. 2017. Please follow these steps to join Community Corp.’s Housing Opportunity List:

Step #1: Get an Appointment Card: The Appointment Card will give you an exact date and time to attend a 1-hour Seminar in December or January where you will learn about Community Corp., and use a Community Corp. computer to complete an online Questionnaire. If you do not have an Appointment Card, you may not be
allowed to attend the Seminar because there are a limited number of computers for applicants to use.

Through Thursday, January 19, 2017, you can still attend one of the Seminars. Pick up an Appointment Card at the Community Corp. Office:
1423 2nd Street. Suite B. Santa Monica. CA 90401. Community Corp. is open Monday through Thursday from 8 am to 5:30 pm.

Step #2: Attend a Seminar on the date/time specified on the Appointment Card: At the Seminar, staff will tell you about Community Corp.’s program, and show you how to complete the online Questionnaire. Staff will answer any questions you may have. Please arrive on time to ensure you will have enough time to complete the Questionnaire during the 1-hour Seminar. Latecomers cannot be guaranteed entrance to the Seminar.

Step #3: Answer the Questionnare completely: If you are unable to complete the Questionnaire on-line, you can request a hard copy. Incomplete Questionnaires will not be accepted. If you are completing a paper questionnaire and make a mistake, do not use white out. Instead, cross out the wrong information and correct it, and initial the correction.

Step #4: Wait for a postcard: Some time in February you should receive a postcard confirming that you are on the Housing Opportunity List. If you attended a Seminar and did not receive a postcard by the end of February, please contact Community Corp.’s office at (310) 394-8487 or send an email to marketinglist@communitycorp.org.

Step #5: If or when you receive a written invitation from Community Corp. to view a vacant unit, follow all instruction in your letter.

What do I need to bring to my scheduled Seminar in December or January?

Bring a Photo ID, and your Appointment Card.  You will also need the following information in order to complete the online Questionnaire:

If you have a Social Security Number, you will need to know the social security number for each member of your household.

A list of your sources of “monthly income” before taxes (gross) or deductions.  You will need to know ALL income for every member of the household including Social Security payments, SSI, Disability, Unemployment, TANF, Child Support, etc.

A list of your bank account balances for every member of the household.

A list of other assets such as pensions, 401k’s, etc. for every member of the household.

More Seminars will be held in English.  There will be a limited number of Spanish only Seminars, so please bring a translator if you do not speak/understand English or Spanish.

Please do not bring food or beverages to the Seminar.  There is limited seating, so you are not required to bring your entire family to the Seminar.  Only one adult member of the household need be present to complete the online questionnaire.

What if something unexpected happens and I cannot attend my scheduled seminar?

If you miss your scheduled Seminar, Community Corp. cannot guarantee if or when you can receive an appointment for another Seminar.  We expect about 4,000 people to attend Seminar throughout December and January, therefore, attending the Seminar during your scheduled date and time is important.  If you realize you cannot attend your originally scheduled Seminar, and it is within the dates listed above when we are giving out appointment cards, come back to 502 Colorado to get a new appointment card.  If we are no longer giving appointment cards, and the Seminars have begun, please contact Community Corp. at (310) 394-8487 to find out if you can attend a Seminar on a stand-by basis, or if you can complete a paper questionnaire before the January 19, 2017 deadline. Applicants are responsible for complying with all deadlines and requirements.

I was on the Marketing List for 2016 and did not get an apartment. Do I need to come back to get on the Housing Opportunity List for 2017?

Yes, because the 2016 Marketing List will be deleted once the 2017 Housing Opportunity List becomes effective.  In 2017, you will no longer have to reapply every year to get a place on Community Corp.’s Housing Opportunity List.  You will only be required to update your information if there are any changes within your household.  This is new for the 2017 Housing Opportunity List.

Once I am on the current Housing Opportunity List, what is the next step? How long does it take to submit a formal application for rental housing?

You should receive a postcard in February, confirming that you are on the Housing Opportunity List. When a vacant apartment becomes available, Community Corp. will match the different criteria for the apartment (such as minimum income, maximum income, # of persons in the household, etc.) Community Corp. will then contact between 40-80 households on the Housing Opportunity List who match the apartment’s criteria. Once you receive this written invitation, you must follow all instructions and meet all deadlines. You will be asked to attend an open house to view the vacant apartment, where you will be given the Rental Housing Application. That Rental Housing Application need to be completed and returned to Community Corp’s office by the date indicated on your invitation. If you submit an application that is processed and you are not offered an apartment, your name stays on the Housing Opportunity List and you will be eligible to receive future open house invitations.

Getting on the Housing Opportunity List is not a guarantee that you will be invited to an open house or to submit a Housing Application. It is also not a guarantee that you will qualify for an apartment with Community Corporation of Santa Monica.

Once I am on the Housing Opportunity List, what if I need to change some of the information on my Questionnaire (such s address, household size or income). What should I do?

An adult member of the household can fill out a Declaration of Household Change Form. You can come to Community Corp.’s office to pick of the Declaration of Household Change Form or you can download the form from our website: www.communitycorp.org, and bring the completed form to our main office at 1423 2nd Street, Suite B, Santa Monica, CA 90401.

It is very important that you update Community Corp.’s records anytime there is a change to your household; such as income changes, the number of people in the household change, you move or change your contact information. Failure to update our records could result in your household not successfully meeting the requirements for an apartment, or delay information getting to you in a timely manner.

I received my postcard confirming that I am on the Housing Opportunity List but I still have not received a written invitation to attend an open house and complete an Application. What does this mean?

There are typically between 3,000-4,000 applicants on our Housing Opportunity List with only 80 to 100 vacancies every year; therefore we cannot invite everyone to an open house. Do not be discouraged by the large number of applicants. The various programs and income requirements can accommodate many variations of income and household sizes.

Does Community Corp. issue Section 8 Vouchers?

No. Community Corp does not issue Section 8 Vouchers, however, as a landlord we accept applicants with Section 8 Vouchers. If you would like to apply for a Section 8 Voucher, please contact the Santa Monica Housing Authority located at 1901 Main Street, 1st Floor, Suite A, Santa Monica CA 90405. Call (310) 458-8740 for more information.

Is Community Corp. a part of the City of Santa Monica?

No. Community Corp. is a private, non-profit organization. Community Corp. builds new buildings, purchases existing buildings and rehabilitates them. New buildings and existing buildings that are purchased and rehabilitated are managed by Community Corp., and rented at an affordable rate to qualified households.

Can I still qualify if I have bad credit, a criminal record and/or an eviction?

Community Corp. has a strict Tenant Selection Criteria. Among the many factors we check are credit history, criminal background and landlord history. Currently, we require that each applicant does not have more than $2,500 in negative credit (past due bills, collection accounts, etc.) Bankruptcies or Evictions/Unlawful Detainers within the past three years and convictions for crimes against persons or property within specified times periods will be considered automatic reasons for denial, and landlord history for the past three years. We do not count negative credit for medical expenses or student loans. If you do not meet the Tenant Selection Criteria, you may still apply at your own discretion by will be taking the risk of going through a time consuming process with the knowledge that your application could be denied if you do not meet the criteria.

Does Community Corp. allow pets?

Community Corp. does not allow pets. There may be residents who moved in prior to Community Corp. purchasing the property who may have had pets, but no pets are allowed for all new Community Corp. residents. The only animals allowed on any of Community Corp.’s properties for new move-ins are assistive animals for the disabled with proper documentation from a health care professional.

Is there an application fee for Community Corp. housing?

No. Community Corp. does not charge an application fee. Once you have been approved for housing you will be asked to make a deposit and that deposit will be applied to you security deposit. You may ask for a receipt. Never pay in cash.

Applicants who offer cash incentives or gifts to Community Corp. employees will be removed from The Housing Opportunity List.

I am looking for affordable rental housing and heard about Community Corporation of Santa Monica (Community Corp.). How do I apply for an apartment?

The first step is to join Community Corp.’s marketing list. The marketing list is completely renewed every year in January. Please follow these steps to join the marketing list:

Step #1: Get an Appointment card:  Contact Community Corp. during the month of December to find out where to pick up an appointment card.

The appointment card will give you an exact date and time in January for you to attend a one-hour marketing list seminar where you will use a Community Corp. computer to complete an online questionnaire. If you do not have an appointment card, you will not be allowed to attend the seminar.  These seminars are generally held at various times throughout the month of January.

Step #2: Attend a seminar on the date/time specified on the appointment card:  At the seminar, staff will show you how to complete the online questionnaire and will be available to answer questions. Please arrive on time to ensure you will have enough time to complete the questionnaire during the one-hour seminar. Latecomers cannot be guaranteed entrance to the seminar.

Step #3: Answer the questionnaire completely:  If you are unable to complete the questionnaire on-line, you can request a hard copy.  Incomplete questionnaires will not be accepted. If you make a mistake, do not use white out. Instead, cross out the wrong information and correct it, and initial the correction.

Step #4: Wait for a postcard: By the end of February or beginning of March you should receive a postcard confirming that you are on the marketing list.  If you attended a seminar and did not receive a postcard by the end of March, please contact Community Corp.’s main office at (310) 394-8487.

Step #5: If and when you receive a written invitation from Community Corp. to view a vacant apartment, follow all instructions in the letter.

What do I need to bring to my scheduled seminar in January?

Bring a pen (Not a pencil), a photo ID, your social security number (if you have one), and your appointment card. Bring a list of your sources of monthly income before taxes (gross) and deductions (including Social Security payments, SSI, Disability, TANF, child support, etc.).  Please also bring a list of your bank account balances, other assets such as pensions, 401k’s, etc.

Please bring a translator if you do not speak/understand English.

Please DO NOT BRING food or beverages to the seminar.

What if something unexpected happens and I cannot attend my scheduled seminar?

If you miss your scheduled seminar, Community Corp. cannot guarantee if or when you can receive an appointment for another seminar. We expect about 3,000 people to attend seminars in January; therefore, attending the seminar during your scheduled date and time is important. In December, if you realize you cannot attend your originally scheduled seminar, please come into the Community Corp. office to get a new appointment card.  If there is no availability for another seminar, you will be given a questionnaire stamped with “Applicant Assumes Responsibility” for you to fill out and submit before the January deadline. Applicants will be responsible for complying with all deadlines and requirements.

I was on the marketing list this year and did not get an apartment. What should I do to get on the marketing list for the following year?

The marketing list is deleted once the next year’s marketing list becomes effective. You will have to follow the same procedure to sign up for the new marketing list.  You must reapply every year if you do not get called for an apartment.

Once I am on the current marketing list, what is the next step? How long does it take to submit a formal application for rental housing?

You should receive a postcard in February confirming that you are on the marketing list.  When an apartment becomes vacant, Community Corp. will review the different criteria for the apartment (such as minimum income, maximum income, number of persons in the household, etc) and will then contact approximately 40-80 people on the marketing list who match the apartment’s criteria. Once you receive this written invitation, you must follow all instructions and meet all deadlines. You will be asked to attend an open house to view the vacant apartment where you will be given the application that needs to be completed and returned to Community Corp.’s main office within three business days. If you submit an application that is processed and you are not offered an apartment, your name stays on the marketing list and you will be eligible to receive future open house invitations.

Getting on the marketing list is NOT a guarantee that you will be invited to an open house or to submit an application.  It is also not a guarantee that you will qualify for an apartment with Community Corp.

I am on the marketing list and I need to change some of the information on my questionnaire (such as address, household size or income). What should I do?

An adult member of the household (over 18 years of age) must come to Community Corp.’s office immediately to fill out the Declaration of Household Change form. You can also download the form from our website: www.communitycorp.org and bring the completed form to our main office at 1423 Second Street, Suite B, Santa Monica, CA.

Please make sure to update Community Corp.’s records anytime there is a change to the household regarding items such as income, the number of people in the household, address or contact information.  Failure to update our records could result in your household not successfully meeting the requirements for an apartment, or delay information from getting to you in a timely manner.

I received my postcard confirming that I am on the marketing list but I still have not received a written invitation to attend an open house and complete an application. What does this mean?

There are typically between 3,000-4,000 applicants on our marketing list with only 80-120 vacancies every year; therefore, we cannot invite everyone to an open house. Do not be discouraged by the large number of applicants.  Our different programs and income requirements can accommodate many variations of income and household size.

What are the income requirements for Community Corp. housing? How much are the rents?

It is difficult to provide an exact answer to these questions as every apartment’s income and rent requirements are subject to change based on federal, state and local housing programs. Community Corp. uses both minimum and maximum income limits. As an estimate, the lowest income for one person is approximately $1,040 per month. If you have a Section 8 Voucher, there is no minimum income.

The amount of rent is different for each apartment. Typically, our studios rent from $437 to $1,195; one-bedrooms from $466 to $1,366; two-bedrooms from $560-$1,622; three-bedrooms from $647 to $1,853; and four-bedrooms from $671 to $2,092. These are only guidelines. Actual rents can be higher or lower than any of these estimates. The rent for an apartment is fixed and does NOT change based upon changes to the applicant/resident’s income.

Does Community Corp. issue Section 8 Vouchers?

No.  Community Corp. does not issue Section 8 Vouchers.  However, as a landlord we accept applicants with Section 8 Vouchers.  If you would like to apply for a Section 8 Voucher, please contact the Santa Monica Housing Authority located at 1901 Main St., 1st Floor Suite A, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Call (310) 458-8740 for more information.

Is Community Corp. a part of the City of Santa Monica?

No, Community Corp. is a private, non-profit organization.  Community Corp. that restores, builds, and manages affordable housing for people of modest means.  By enhancing and increasing affordable housing, we improve neighborhoods, create an environment where people can thrive, and changes thousands of lives.

Can I still qualify if I have bad credit, a criminal record and/or an eviction?

Community Corp. maintains strict tenant selection criteria. Among the many items we check are credit history, criminal background and landlord history for the past three years. We require that each applicant does not have more than $2,500 in negative credit (past due bills, collection accounts, etc.) – Bankruptcies or evictions / unlawful detainers within the past five years and convictions for crimes against persons or property within specified time periods will be considered automatic reasons for denial.  If you do not meet the tenant selection criteria, you may still apply at your own discretion. However, please be advised that you will be embarking on a time-consuming process with the knowledge that your application will be denied if you do not meet the criteria.

Can I choose which Community Corp. apartment I would like to live in?

Unfortunately, you will not be able to choose which apartment you would like to live in. If you have a medical condition or a disability that requires you to have certain accommodations, such as a ground-floor apartment or a wheelchair-accessible apartment, please provide this information as the “Alternative Criteria” you require.  If you reject an apartment for reasons that do not meet our policy guidelines, your name may be removed from our marketing list.

Does Community Corp. allow pets?

Community Corp. does NOT allow pets. There may be residents who moved in prior to Community Corp. purchasing the property who may have had pets, but no pets are allowed for all new Community Corp. residents. The only animals allowed on the property for new move-ins are assistive animals for people with disabilities with proper documentation from a health care professional.

Is there an application fee for Community Corp. housing?

No.  Community Corp. does not charge an application fee. After being approved and accepting a specific apartment, you’ll be asked to provide a $100 holding deposit if you are not moving within 10 days of accepting the apartment.  Applicants who offer cash incentives or gifts to Community Corp. employees will be removed from the marketing list.

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