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May 25, 2010 > ECHO Housing assists renters

ECHO Housing assists renters

Submitted By Joyce Joyner

If you are a resident of Fremont, help might be available to assist with delinquent rent or a security deposit. ECHO Housing's Rental Assistance Program, (RAP) is a self-help based Delinquent Rent and Security Deposit Guarantee Program. The RAP Program is designed to assist people who have fallen behind on rent due to temporary set backs, or people who qualify for a rental unit but need help with paying the move-in costs.

The RAP Program does not pay the amount owed. Instead, the Rental Assistance Program Counselor negotiates with landlords and secures their agreements to allow tenants to pay off the amount of delinquent rent or security deposit owed in feasible monthly payments rather than a lump sum payment. ECHO then acts as a third party co-signer and issues Guarantee Certificates to participating landlords to cover all or part of any defaulted payment plans.

Applicants must go through a pre-screening process to verify income and ongoing monthly expenses. The reason(s) for needing the assistance must be compelling and documented. All applicants must show the ability to meet ongoing rent, living expenses, and monthly installment payments to the landlord to pay off the delinquent rent or security deposit.

The RAP Program benefits tenants by enabling them to secure or obtain rental units. Landlords benefit by retaining tenants rather than going through the expense of a new tenant search. Landlord participation is on a voluntary case by case basis.

Housing Assistance Grants are sometime available to qualified applicants when funds are available.

If you are a resident of Fremont in need of help with delinquent rent, or if you are approved by a landlord for a rental unit located in Fremont but you need help with paying the deposit, you should call ECHO at (510) 581-9380.

The program is also available to residents of Dublin, Livermore, and Pleasanton. Dublin residents call (888) 887-ECHO. Livermore and Pleasanton residents call (925) 449-7340. If you reside elsewhere in northern or southern Alameda County, call (510)581-9380.

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