SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — The city of Spokane will receive nearly $5.6 million to bolster its rental assistance program funds after the city council approved the funding on Monday night.
Spokane residents will soon be able to apply for the funds that the Washington State Department of Commerce awarded to the city. The funds are aimed to help people facing evictions and those most likely to become homeless.
“The funding is intended to prevent evictions by paying past due and future rent and utilities that have resulted during the pandemic. Funds will be distributed equitably based on population demographics,” Jenn Cerecedes, Director of the City’s Community, Housing and Human Services Department, said in a written statement.
According to the statement, households that would like to apply to be eligible for rental and/or utility assistance must meet all four of the following criteria:
- Someone in the household has qualified for unemployment, experienced a reduction in income, incurred high costs, or experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- People with current housing instability or risk of housing instability, which may include unpaid rental fees or anticipation of inability to pay future rent.
- Household income is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income.
- Be a resident within the City of Spokane boundaries.
The application process for the rent assistance funds will be announced soon on Spokane City’s website. The Carl Maxey Center, which prioritizes assistance to African American and BIPOC households, and SNAP, will continue accepting applications to apply for the funds.
Since June of 2021, the city has distributed nearly all of the previous $27 million in funding awarded for its Emergency Rent Assistance Program from the U.S. Treasury and State Commerce departments. More than 2,470 households in the city have benefitted from the program.