SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – The launch of a new rental subsidy pilot for residents in an East Bay city happened on Tuesday. 

The program aims to stop the displacement of households and prevent homelessness.

“We are so thrilled that this demonstration program will touch the lives of 200 households,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said. 

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announces a new housing assistance pilot program called Shallow Subsidy. 

It is designed to prevent homelessness in Oakland by paying a portion of a person’s rent every month for up to 18-months.

“I don’t know what I would have done? I can’t pay rent by myself. I only receive income from social security,” subsidy resident Laura Sloan said. 

“Our main focus is closing the gap,” Logan McDonnell said. 

Logan McDonnell, the associate director of the non-profit Housing Resource Program, Bay Area community services, is responsible for implementing the pilot and selecting the families.

“We’re focused on neighborhoods whose rents have increased by upwards of 90%. People that have an experience of homelessness in their lives. They pay more than half of their income on rent, and their neighborhoods have high rates of gentrification,” McDonnell said. 

The total cost of the program is $3.4 million. The pilot’s partners included billionaire philanthropist Marc Benioff who funded the initial seed money to get the rental subsidy off the ground.

“We believe in an expensive housing market like the Bay Area, this is the type of intervention that can rapidly stabilize families, keep them from losing their housing, and allow them to build their income to a moment of self-sufficiency,” Schaaf said.