Helping with the housing huntMoving - whether to a bigger house across the street or a new job across the country - is widely acknowledged as one of life's most stressful events. And diving blindly into the search for the right house or apartment in a brand-new town usually marks the start of a long and frustrating process. But, thanks to the efforts of the Clatsop County Rental Owners Association, future residents can get a jump on finding the perfect place, along with some helpful human contacts eager to welcome them to town.

The CCROA offers a Housing Hotline for prospective renters. Callers are asked to leave their name, phone number and e-mail address, and can answer questions about the part of the county they're looking at, the type of home they need, their budget, move-in date, pets, smoking preferences and any special requests. Association President Jay Lieberman or an assistantan collect the day's messages each evening and type them into e-mails they send out to rental property owners. It's then up to the property owners to make contact with the caller and start discussing places to live.

"Because The Daily Astorian also carries the hotline info. on its Web site, quite a few callers from all over the country have used the hotline to help set up their housing before moving to the area," Lieberman said. Many of the hotline's users are U.S. Coast Guard families being transferred to this area.

To call the CCROA's Housing Hotline, dial 717-4654. For information on the CCROA, e-mail Jay Lieberman at jogging@seasurf.net or call 717-9229.

Active members Clatsop County Rental Owners Association: More than 100

Years in existence: 25

Purpose of association: Forum for learning about the laws regarding the

Oregon rental industry and the correct application of those laws

Rental units represented: Approximately 2,500

Date Housing Hotline was initiated: June 2002

Prospective tenants who have called the Housing Hotline: More than 1,000

Source: Jay Lieberman, Clatsop County Rental Owners Association

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