October 29, 2007 18:36 ET

Westside Rentals to Assist With Rental Deposits for Fire Victims

PACIFIC BEACH, CA--(Marketwire - October 29, 2007) -, the leading home finding service in Southern California, announced today a plan that would help fire victims by assisting with their rental deposit on any new lease signed as a result of being displaced by the fires. Founder Mark Verge made the offer days after giving away memberships to the service to fire victims as well as offering Westside Rentals' database of over 17,000 rental vacancies for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help families.

Westside Rentals plans to verify housing needs by reviewing housing vouchers from the Red Cross, insurance documentation, and/or FEMA card. Verge's commitment to relief in response to the fires has centered on the industry he knows best: rental housing. The organization plans to leverage its strong relationship with regional landlords and property management firms to ease the burden that the blazes have incurred on thousands in the Southland as well as offering direct financial help.

While the 11-year-old Santa Monica-based organization has served the San Diego area for just over a year, it has already amassed a following amongst landlords. San Diego rentals now account for around 10% of its massive database of rental vacancies. The firm boasts the largest pool of rentals in the region with over 17,000 in Los Angeles, Orange County, and other Southern California areas. Westside Rentals has 7 offices including its newest located in Pacific Beach, which serves the San Diego market.

"Mark [Verge] has a big heart for Southern California. He grew up in the region and wants to give back," said spokesman Ryan Wolfe. "The need is now and Westside Rentals is doing its best to help."

Those displaced by the fires and seeking rental housing can email their story to to receive help with their rental deposit. A standard membership to gives 60 days of access to the rental listings for $60, but fire victims can request a FREE pass. Landlords who wish to help with housing needs can advertise their vacancy for free on and be included in HUD's relief effort.

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