CULTUREMAP - In a time when nobody is safe from the pressures of rising rents, the City of Austin's Cultural Arts Division has launched a new initiative to help save local arts organizations from losing their homes. Introducing the Art Space Assistance Program (ASAP), a pilot series of financial grants designed to combat our hot real estate market.

The goal is to "support nonprofits facing permanent displacement, those previously displaced, or those facing lease renewals at substantially higher rates," with substantially higher defined as a 25 percent increase.

Those interested in applying must demonstrate how the grant will immediately help the the organization avoid closure, move to a new location, or expand its reach. Recipients will be awarded based on a points system, but priority will be given to nonprofits serving at-risk populations; women; or African, Latino, Asian, Arab, and Native American communities.

Grants will be doled out in increments up to $35,000 for help on rent and $50,000 for tenant improvements. Since ASAP is still a pilot program, the city has a one-time funding pool of $200,000 for 2017.

Read the full story on CultureMap Austin.