Frequently Asked Questions



WHAT WILL MY DONATION BE USED FOR?

With only one full-time and two part-time paid staff member, a small office, and extensive volunteer time, we have minimal administrative costs. Donors frequently earmark donations for a specific project and that is always honored. Unrestricted donations are placed in our general fund where they are used to pay for Life Skills Education, administrative costs, and to support the expansion of future development projects.   

WHAT IS THE MAJOR SOURCE OF YOUR FUNDING?

Our funding depends primarily on the generosity of individuals, corporations, churches, and civic groups. We receive long-term, low-interest rate loans, from both the City of San Clemente and the County of Orange and we hold major fundraisers throughout the year. Employers pay us when we do special projects for them such as Life Skills Education, conducted by experts in their respective fields. Our 203k program in which we purchase HUD owned, blighted properties, refurbish them, and then sell them to first time home buyers is also a source of income.   

HOW DO YOU SELECT PEOPLE TO LIVE IN MARY ERICKSON COMMUNITY HOUSING?

We rent to working families with a household income less than $37,800, which is 50 percent of the Orange County median income that varies by year. The family must consist of at least one adult or one person per bedroom. MECH maintains a waiting list at all times and is an equal housing opportunity non-profit organization.   


HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE FOR RENT?

Our rents do not exceed one-half of the median rent in Orange County. Currently, rents are $700 per month for a two-bedroom apartment and $800 per month for a three-bedroom apartment. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Orange County is $1300, and three-bedroom apartment rents for an average of $1600.  


HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE LIFE SKILLS CLASSES FOR YOUR TENANTS?

We schedule six classes per year on a regular basis. Whenever a question or concern arises we will schedule a special tenant meeting. Our speakers have special skills and expertise and are drawn from the community. Classes are held in both English and Spanish. The goal is to enhance the self-sufficiency of each family.


IS THERE A TIME LIMIT FOR YOUR TENANTS TO LIVE IN YOUR APARTMENTS?

There is no set time limit after which tenants must move, however, they are encouraged to improve their job skills in order to increase their income and move into market rate housing. Income verification takes place annually in order to determine that they still qualify to live in our apartments. All tenants are re-evaluated at the end of three years.   


DO YOU TAKE ANY STEPS TO MINIMIZE CRIME IN YOUR APARTMENTS?

All tenants must sign a crime-free addendum to their lease. Failure to do so, or any infractions, are grounds for eviction. Our tenant association’s President acts as a liaison between the tenants and MECH and reports any problems.   


DO YOU ACCEPT SECTION 8 VOUCHERS?

Yes, we accept Section 8 vouchers in San Bernardino, Moreno Valley, and Loma Linda.
We do not accept Section 8 vouchers in San Clemente. We provide apartments that are in addition to those provided by landlords that accept Section 8 tenants. Our apartments are subsidized through our own fundraising efforts.   

WHAT ASSURANCE IS THERE THAT YOUR APARTMENTS WILL REMAIN AFFORDABLE?

We have deed restrictions to ensure affordability of at least 30 years. 

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