$100 Million Rental Assistance Fund Now Available

Posted By: Brett Waller Advocacy News, COVID-19 Resource Center,
The state of Washington has allocated $100 million of CARES Act General Relief Funds to rental assistance and the Department of Commerce has set forth guidelines to make this rental assistance available and accessible to tenants and landlords across the state.

Below are details of the program. The program is intended to target those with the greatest need while working to distribute the funds equitably.  

The funds are distributed through the Consolidated Homeless Grant (CHG) system by first allocating them to counties and subsequently allowing the counties to sign contracts with local service providers to distribute the money upon a tenant’s application.  

Tenants are eligible to apply for up to three months of rent payments (arrears, current rent owing, or future rent) owing through December 2020.  

Housing providers are eligible to receive up to 80% of total rent due or the Fair Market Rent rate in the area where the housing unit is located.  

Tenant Eligibility: 

The tenant must have current income (within the last 60 days) at or below 50% Area Median Income (AMI), AND have at least one month of rent not paid or rent that is partially unpaid since March 1, 2020. Tenants will be required to complete an Income Eligibility Form

Additionally, the household must meet one of the additional criteria: 

•    Spend more than 50% of their current monthly income towards rent 
•    Have been previously homeless within the past 5 years
•    Have eviction history within the past 7 years
•    Have their housing disrupted due to household member race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion
•    Be at risk of severe illness per the CDC
•    Have a household member with a disability, including a physical, mental or emotional impairment  

Housing Provider Requirements:

Housing providers must complete the Commerce ERAP Landlord Payment Agreement Form where there is a formal rental agreement or lease and must provide a W-9 with the completed form.  

Payment by the rental assistance program constitutes full satisfaction of any balance owed through the date of the Agreement. The program does not pay late fees or additional charges for the months covered.  

WMFHA is working to determine the contract service providers in each county who will administer the rental assistance programs to expedite the process for you, your teams, and the residents you serve who are in need of rental assistance.  

If you have questions, please contact Brett Waller by email or at 425.656.9077.