In response to a letter from the California Apartment Association, the city of Fremont is clarifying that landlords can apply for COVID-19 rental assistance through the city’s “Keep Fremont Housed” program.

CAA’s letter, sent to Mayor Lily Mei on Monday, pointed out that the city must let rental housing owners apply for rental assistance on behalf of their tenants, and not doing so would violate both state and federal law.

Acting city Manager Brian Stott responded Tuesday with this letter, saying the city is updating its “Keep Fremont Housed” program so that it’s clear landlords can apply and is updating the wording on the program’s websites and documents to make this clear. Stott also said the city would create a method for rental owners to apply online at

On Wednesday, Joshua Howard, CAA’s executive vice president of local public affairs, said he was encouraged by Fremont’s response.

“We appreciate the city’s quick action to address our concerns,” Howard said. “Fremont’s adjustments will ensure its program complies with the law while giving rental housing providers a clear way to seek for the help that they and their residents need.”