King County Updates ERAP Program Guidelines

Posted By: Brett Waller Advocacy News, COVID-19 Resource Center,

“We appreciate the investment in rental assistance from the state and King County as well as recent program changes to help support both residents and housing providers. There is more we can do to target protections and assistance to those who are impacted by COVID-19. First, Washington can align its eviction ban with other west-coast states who require a COVID-specific financial need, rather than continuing to implement a broad ban that covers those who choose not to pay. Rental assistance can then be directed to those residents in need to cover 100% of their housing costs. This approach will ensure those who are impacted by COVID-19 are protected and supported while alleviating the burden on housing providers to cover housing costs for all residents who are unable or unwilling to pay rent.” - Brett Waller

Based on revised program guidelines from the Department of Commerce, King County is updating the EPRAP payment standard to:  

  1. Accept up to six months of rental assistance on behalf of the participating tenant at the greater of either (a) 80 percent of the otherwise applicable total rent for six months; or (b) fair market rent for the six months, so long as the payment does not exceed the amount owed.
  2. Any rental debt owed by the tenant for more than six months must be forgiven. If rental debt is less than six months, assistance may be paid for past due and current rent up to six months not to extend beyond December 2020. 

Nonprofit agencies will go back to housing providers who have already been processed and make a payment that is reflective of the above standard. King County does not anticipate additional changes to the payment standard.  

King County is still determining the cost of fully committing to all of the properties in the Large Residential Landlord Fund. By November 9, 2020, King County will inform landlords who are not currently in process what order they can except to be processed in. Property management companies/landlords with 200 or more tenants behind in rent will be processed first. Then, properties will be ordered based off the delinquency rate of the overall portfolio submitted. Properties have until Friday November 6, 2020 to update the number of tenants behind on the property.  

King County will open up a wait list for properties that submitted interest in the Large Residential Landlord Fund after October 23, 2020. All properties in King County, regardless of zip code or public subsidies, will be able to sign up for the waitlist. The waitlist will only be processed if there are enough funds after processing the current properties in the Large Residential Landlord Fund. If the waitlist is processed, properties located in high need zip codes or properties with public subsidies will still be prioritized.