Petaluma – Petaluma People Services Center is pleased to announce that they will be again be offering the Bridge the Gap Program. This program provides to Petaluma residents who are 60 and older small monthly payments to landlords to allow them to stay in their homes. Bridge the Gap, which recently received funding from APMcares, submitted in partnership with Connie Madrid, local loan officer, will allow PPSC to relaunch this very successful program.

More than three-quarters of California’s low-income seniors are financially burdened by rent, according to a new fact sheet from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Low-income seniors who rent — numbering more than half a million — can be forced to move far from their established social and medical networks to find rentals they can afford; they may end up in substandard housing; or — at worst — homeless, according to authors of the study.

Elece Hempel, Executive Director of PPSC, shared that older Petaluma residents with limited incomes struggle to pay for shelter, food, medical care or other basic needs. Many seniors are being forced out of housing. This program allows us to make monthly payments to landlords on behalf of the senior to help them “bridge the gap” between income and expanding rental increases.

According to the UCLA study, 55.8 percent of low-income seniors in California shoulder a severe rent burden and 22.6 percent are moderately burdened. California renters of all ages also feel the pinch, but not to the same extreme: 28.7 percent bear a severe rent burden, according to a recent state housing report. The UCLA study uses the most currently available census data, the 2016 American Community Survey. The high-cost Bay Area region has a slightly lower overall rent burden among low-income seniors, 77.1 percent, because some long-term tenants in the area live in rent-controlled units, which reduces their rents paid, the study reports. Still, 40.9 percent of low-income senior renters in this broad region have a severe rent burden.

Hempel reminds us “in Petaluma, we have a rapidly aging population, the gap between many older adults’ fixed incomes and increasing rents is likely to widen to a chasm unless changes occur in rental costs, incomes or both.”

For more information about the program or to get an application please visit PPSC website, 707-765-8488.


Celebrating 45 years of service, PPSC is dedicated to improving the social and economic health of our community by providing programs that strengthen the dignity and self-sufficiency of the individual.


Bridge the Gap