RPP offers quality, affordable rental properties
by Senior Airman Robin Drake
For many servicemembers, arrival at a new duty station creates a long list of tasks needed to complete in-processing. The Housing Office has one way to help members alleviate the stress faced when searching for a place to call home.
The Rental Partnership Program offers a variety of benefits for military personnel, both active duty and reserve, who wish to reside off base in the Tampa Bay area and other surrounding communities outside of MacDill.
The RPP is designed to help servicemembers by reducing certain costs that may be acquired while moving to a new off-base housing residence.
"When you move you don't get a lot of what you need to start up a household," said Linda D. Rousseau, Off-Base Housing assistant. "With the RPP, there is no security deposit, application fee or credit check."
Rentals are offered at a discounted price, usually five to 12 percent off the market rate. The program is open to any rental property owner or manager willing to offer the discount, said Mrs. Rousseau.
Properties available for rent include apartments and townhouses, but single-family houses are not available at this time.
To take part in the RPP, a property must be evaluated by the Housing Office to ensure it provides the highest standards for tenants. Rental properties offer amenities, which include access gates, courtesy patrols, alarm systems and smoke detectors, said Mrs. Rousseau.
A wide variety of available rentals are located within 30 to 45 minutes of MacDill, including properties in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park, Clearwater and Brandon. Price range is dependent on the specific rental amenities and properties offer leasing contracts that vary from seven to 12 month leases, said Mrs. Rousseau.
Currently, 66 rental properties and more than 900 servicemembers participate in the RPP, said Mrs. Rousseau.
A member who wishes to apply for the RPP must meet requirements that have been established by the Housing Office and the rental property management offices.
"Members interested in the program must have the retainability of time in service for the length of the lease they are signing," said Mrs. Rousseau.
Members currently enrolled in the RPP must provide written notice of intended lease termination to property management prior to lease expiration. In addition, members must agree to clear through the Housing Office and provide the clearance statement from property management before that rent payment is stopped.
Participants will not be eligible for base housing until their off-base lease is 30 days from expiration, said Mrs. Rousseau. Once government quarters are obtained, a forwarding address must be given to property management.
The RPP provides interested members with the resources and information needed when searching for comfortable and affordable off-base housing.
The following items are necessary for program participation: