Housing and Rent Assistance
Rent Assistance and Legal Help
Gov. Jay Inslee issued a proclamation prohibiting evictions due to tenants not being able to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The proclamation ended on Oct. 31, 2021.
If you need rent assistance, you or your landlord can contact the local organization handling rent assistance applications in your county: List of county Eviction Rent Assistance Program providers.
If you are a tenant under 25, you can also contact a local Youth and Young Adult Eviction Rent Assistance program provider.
In addition, there are two legal resources available to tenants and landlords.
- Eviction resolution program. You can contact your local dispute resolution center and ask for their help resolving eviction-related issues. You can find a directory of centers here.
- Right to counsel legal program. Tenants who receive public assistance or are very low income – $25,760 annual income for an individual or $53,000 for a family of four – can access a lawyer for free during eviction proceedings. Contact the Eviction Defense Screening Line at 855-657-8387 or apply online at the Northwest Justice Project.
The Office of the Attorney General can assist with COVID-19 eviction complaints. You can contact them here.
The Washington State Limited Landlord Relief Program offers owners of six or fewer rental units/properties that make less than the Family Median Income the ability to recuperate up to 80% of the unpaid rental payments in qualifying circumstances. This program is limited to paying no more than $2,000,000 in claims. Learn more about the Limited Landlord Relief Program.
Resources Are Available To Help With Other Costs - Call 2-1-1 For Information
The pandemic has left many people in Washington with unexpected bills and costs. You are not alone. Call 2-1-1 to speak with someone who can connect you to programs that help individuals pay for things like rent, food, broadband and more.
Summary of Rent Assistance
The Washington State Department of Commerce has been administering COVID-19 emergency rent assistance since last summer. To administer these programs, Commerce contracts with counties. Counties work with local service providers to process applications, manage documentation and reporting, and issue payments to landlords.
Either landlords or tenants can contact their local rent assistance providers, though both play a role in the process. Payments are made directly to landlords. Counties must also offer dispute resolution services for tenants and landlords.
Over 54,000 households have received rent assistance through the end of October 2021. An estimated 80,000 households will receive assistance through June 2023.
The median rent in Washington state is $1,200.
Federal Census data reported up to 13% of renters in Washington state were behind in rent payment in early 2021. However, that number dropped to around 8% in October 2021. Before the pandemic, this number ranged from 3-5%.
Below is a statewide summary of COVID-19 rent assistance provided to date. The state’s Eviction Rent Assistance Program (ERAP) ended June 30, 2021. The federal Treasury Rent Assistance Program (TRAP 1.0) figures reflect what Commerce reports to the U.S. Department of Treasury on behalf of counties. For more details, you can view this monthly county breakdown.
Rent Assistance State Rank through Oct. 30, 2021
|Fund Source||Program Name||Timeline||Award||Funds Distributed as of Dec. 31, 2021|
|Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) 2020 direct funding to Washington state||Eviction Rent Assistance Program (ERAP 1.0)||August 2020 – June 2021 (program closed)||$110M||$101M|
|State Disaster Response Account Funds||Eviction Rent Assistance Program (ERAP 1.0)||August 2020 – June 2021 (program closed)||$43.5M||$43.5M|
|Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) – Treasury Rent Assistance Program ERA1||T-RAP 1.0||March 2021 – September 2022||$322.1M||$222.5M|
|Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) 2020 direct funding to Washington state||T-RAP 1.0||March 2021 – September 2022||$30M||$3.8M
|American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) – Emergency Rental Assistance Funds – Treasury Rent Assistance Program ERA2||T-RAP 2.0||October – 2021 – June 2023||$255M||$1.5M|
|ARPA Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund||ERAP 2.0|
|October 2021 – June 2023||$403M||$19.5M|
COVID-19 Guidance for Homeless Service Programs and Local Governments
Please note that COVID-19 is a health-related issue, and the best guidance is available on the Washington State Department of Health Coronovirus website and through guidance issued by your local public health department. DOH also offers COVID-19 educational materials in 26 languages. If you expect exposure to COVID-19, please follow DOH and Center for Disease Control (CDC) requirements and guidelines. For guidance on how to prevent and manage the spread of COVID-19 in homeless shelter settings, please see Commerce’s interim guidance for homeless service programs.