Today, the City of Fremont announced the Keep Fremont Housed Emergency Rental Assistance Program that will aid eligible low-to-moderate income Fremont households who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and are unable to pay their rent and utilities.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has granted the City of Fremont $7,168,619 in funding, which may be used to pay unpaid back rent, prospective rent for up to 12 months, and past due utility bills. Households receiving prospective rent must be re-certified every three months.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put strains on our community’s most basic of human needs, shelter,” Mayor Lily Mei said. “The City of Fremont and I are grateful to distribute this federal grant in Fremont to provide this critical resource for our renters, most impacted economically by the global pandemic, much-needed rent relief.”
To be eligible, renter households need to have at least one or more individuals meet the following requirements:
- Be a Fremont resident
- Have household income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI)
- Either qualify for unemployment, experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 on or after March 13, 2020
- Demonstrate risk of experiencing housing instability or homelessness
Eligible households that include an individual who has been unemployed for 90 days prior to the application or with an income at or below 50% of the AMI will be prioritized, as well as households that are rent burdened by paying 50% or more of their total income toward rental costs. Applicants who are approved for funding will be notified and have checks directly sent to their landlords.
Keep Fremont Housed will build on the success of the City of Fremont Cares Rent Relief Program which was administered by the Human Services Department’s Family Resource Center. The City plans to utilize a Bay Area Community Services (BACS) Homeless Prevention Platform to administer the initiative. This platform will streamline electronic submissions, applicant prioritization, and maintain data to meet federal reporting requirements. The City of Oakland and the City and County of San Francisco are also using the platform. The Keep Fremont Housed application portal opened on April 1. To learn more about the Keep Fremont Housed rental assistance program and how to submit an online application, please sign up to receive updates and visit our webpage.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ (CBPP) analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, nearly one in five renters has been unable to catch up on rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, with renters of color and those with children being more severely impacted. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia estimated in October 2020 that the State of California had over 200,000 household renters in debt — resulting in $1.7 billion in unpaid rent.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program aims to address these needs by providing $25 billion nationwide to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities because of COVID-19. Funds are provided directly to eligible States, U.S. Territories, and Indian tribes to be allocated to eligible households through existing or newly created rental assistance programs. The City of Fremont, with a population of over 200,000, qualifies for a direct allocation of funding.
Applicants who need assistance completing the application and/or translation services can contact the Fremont Family Resource Center at 510-574-2028.