(BCN) — Napa County will receive a grant of up to $5 million to launch a program that aims to offer rental assistance to extremely low-income residents experiencing severe rent burden, county officials said.

The Bay Area Housing Finance Authority Rental Assistance Pilot Program is designed to safeguard the county’s growing homeless senior population with rental assistance, the Napa County Department of Housing and Homeless Services said Thursday.

The department expects to help stabilize and provide rental assistance for 180 to 200 seniors monthly to facilitate sustainable housing.

In addition to the $5 million in funding from BAHFA, the county department will leverage an additional $1.6 million from local funding sources to support the program’s launch.

“We are thrilled that Napa County has been selected to lead the BAHFA Rental Assistance Pilot Program,” Napa County of Housing and Homeless Services director Jennifer Palmer said in a statement. “Preventing homelessness is vital for our community’s well-being and we have made significant progress through collaboration with our core non-profit partner agencies.”

Palmer added that the funding is expected to strengthen and expand homelessness assistance across Napa County, specifically for the lowest-income older adult residents struggling with rising costs and fixed incomes.

According to the county department, seniors account for more than 10 percent of the population experiencing homelessness in the county. For older adults, financial or health crises are the leading causes of homelessness, the agency added.

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