By Tanya Dennis
The Oakland Housing Assistance Office, which will help homeowners and tenants in fear of losing their homes, held a grand opening at its new office at 250 Frank Ogawa Plaza on the 5th floor in Oakland.
Supported by Oakland officials, grass root organizations and legal assistance groups, the office will provide support for tenants and homeowners with need housing counseling, loan modifications, and legal services. The office will also offer a streamlined, one-stop approach to housing services and resource referrals.
Private rooms are available for client consultations and for conference space for housing groups.
The center will also provide access to low-or no-interest loans and grants for residential rehabilitation, home repair and energy retrofits for eligible residents; information regarding first-time homebuyers’ assistance; workshops; emergency and guided referrals to transitional housing; homelessness prevention services; and affordable housing.
“Everyone came together, and no outside resources were needed. People from grassroots organizations and officials worked together towards one goal, and that is to keep people in their homes,” said Field Representative Diego Gonzalez from Assemblyman Ron Bonta’s office.
Unlike some other programs, this office will support tenants who find themselves abruptly displaced when a bank forecloses on a rental home, and the tenants feel they have no rights and have to move.
Founding supporters thanked the Housing Assistance Center for recognizing the need for Oakland to develop a procedure that tracks people’s cases to make sure they do not fall through the cracks.
Oakland homeowners can call (510) 271-8443 x313. Tenant rights counseling or legal services are available at the Oakland Tenant Defense Hotline at (510) TENANTS (836-2687).