SPOKANE, Wash. — Hundreds of millions of dollars are available in Washington to help people catch up on rent payments they missed during the pandemic.
Organizations in each county are helping distribute it and are now looking for renters who could use some help. The CDC also extended the federal eviction moratorium. It will now end on Oct. 3.
City of Spokane
There are multiple ways to receive assistance for rent and utilities from the city of Spokane.
Households must meet all four of the initial screening criteria to be eligible for assistance:
- Someone in the household has qualified for unemployment or experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Residents have current housing instability or risk of housing instability, which may include unpaid rental fees or anticipation of inability to pay future rent.
- The household income is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income
- The household resides within the City of Spokane boundaries
LiveStories is currently accepting applications from those who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Funds are available for past due, current due, future rent and utilities.
For utilities, the City has suspended late fees and water shut-offs for non-payment of City utility bills. Avista has announced that it is suspending power utility shut-offs during this time as well.
Residents can seek financial help with their energy bills and their City utility bills by calling SNAP at 456-SNAP.
For rental assistance for residents in Okanogan County, the application can be found here.
For residents in Grant County, they can apply for rent and utility assistance through HopeSource.
For the energy/utility assistance application, click here.
For the rental assistance application, click here.
Yakima County has received $28 million dollars to go towards rental assistance programs. $2.5 million has already been distributed during Yakima County's first round of rental assistance. which ran from September 2020 through January 2021.
Here's how to apply:
1. Tenant contacts one of the five COVID rental assistance agencies and is screened for eligibility.
2. Eligible tenants complete an online lottery submission form with their case manager, to be entered in the lottery pool.
3. Match and referral staff de-duplicate tenants and randomize selection from the lottery pool.
4. ERA Agencies receive their list of their tenants to serve, create appropriate documentation, and contact landlords to finish the application process.
5. Finally, a check will be sent by the provider to the landlord on behalf of the tenant.
Visit their website for more information on how to apply.