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Rental assistance resources

By VerityCU June 8, 2021 Covid-19

The US Department of Treasury has allocated funds to assist people who are behind on rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. King, Snohomish and Pierce counties are rolling out the federal support through a variety of programs and organizations. The pandemic-related eviction moratorium is set to expire on June 30, and county, state and federal officials are putting programs in place to help.

Rental assistance

The federally-funded programs have eligibility criteria which varies a bit by county. King, Snohomish and Pierce counties have the following eligibility rules in common:

  • US citizenship is not a requirement for assistance.
  • Hardship causing the inability to pay rent must be directly or indirectly due to COVID-19.
  • Tenants who are at or below 50% of the Median Area Income and those who have at least one person in the household who has been unemployed 90 days or more prior to the application date are prioritized.
  • Must not have used other federally-funded assistance programs.

King County

King County Department of Community and Human Services is managing the Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Program (EPRAP) for King County and the City of Seattle. King County estimates 20,000 residents need assistance and unfortunately not all who apply and are eligible will receive assistance. King County's program works as follows:

  • Income must be at or below 50% of Area Median Income.
  • Pays up to 9 months of current and past due rent and utilities if included in the rent.
  • Pays up to 3 months of future rent.
  • Tenants are selected randomly via a pool each week. City of Seattle tenants have 2 entries (one for City of Seattle and one for King County).  
  • The portal supports English and Spanish however help in several other languages is available by calling (206) 477-1331.

Snohomish County

Volunteers of America is managing the Snohomish County program. Visit the website or call (425) 259-3191 to get started. The Snohomish County program covers up to 12 months rental assistance including arrears. Review the VOA flyer for details about income limits.

Pierce County

Pierce County Human Services is overseeing the eviction prevention program for Pierce County and City of Tacoma. Visit the website for more information, including income limits. For households without internet access, they should call 211 to help with applications. 

Other resources:

  • Dial 211 - This is an information bank of community resources divided by region. They will put people in touch with community resources to help address their specific need.
  • Housing Justice Project - Free legal advice to low-income renters with eviction related issues. Legal experts will answer questions about eviction paperwork, help negotiate with landlords, represent renters at courthouse eviction hearings and share resource and referral information.
    • King County: website, (206) 267-7069.
    • Snohomish County: website, (425) 258-9283, extension 5 or 2. Attorneys are available Tuesday - Friday, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm. 
    • Pierce County: website, (523) 572-5134 extension 102

 Contributed by Charnell Morud, personal financial coach with Verity Credit Union