Are you homeless or about to become homeless? Click here to connect to a Local Coordinated Entry program that can help you think about next steps.

Homeless Assistance

Homeless Assistance

Please visit our COVID-19 page for helpful COVID-19 related information.

CARES Act and State Rental Assistance Funding Overview

Recording of meeting January 14, 2021 (chat included)
Passcode: f+?k8S7k

Jan. 14, 2021 PowerPoint Slides (PDF)

Upcoming webinars for Contracted Agencies and Local Governments about the NEW Treasury Rent Assistance Program (T-RAP):

Commerce will post a list of county service providers for individuals needing assistance as soon as it’s available. Until that time, you can contact the ERAP service provider identified below.

NEW Eviction Rent Assistance Program

Commerce does not provide this assistance directly to the public. Rental assistance will be provided through local housing providers in your community.

List of County Eviction Rent Assistance Program Providers
List of Youth and Young Adult Eviction Rent Assistance Program Providers

The Eviction Rent Assistance Program (ERAP) Grant is part of Washington State’s response to the COVID-19 disaster. The program intends to prevent evictions that would contribute to the spread of the virus by paying past due, current due and future rent. The ERAP is targeting limited resources to those with the greatest needs while working to distribute funds equitably. Its end date is December 31, 2020.

The available funds will not meet the demand for assistance.

Service providers in each county are working to set up the programs now. Assistance may not be available for several weeks. This page will be updated as more information becomes available. If you need rental assistance, please check back about who to contact in the coming weeks. If you are experiencing homelessness, please go to the link at the top of this web page for information on where to find assistance.

The following information is for service providers who will administer the program:

Contact your CHG or OHY grant manager directly for support with the guidelines and forms.

Homelessness in Washington

Why is Homelessness Increasing?  Homelessness has increased since 2013 in Washington state due to multiple factors, but overwhelmingly because growing rents are pushing people living at the margins into homelessness. Learn more.

Recording of presentation “Drivers of Homelessness in Washington state”

Counts of Homelessness: Different Counts and What they Mean  There are a few different ways Washington state counts the number of homeless individuals and families each year. You can learn more with this report.

Overview of the Homeless Housing System and Funding  In every county in Washington, a statewide network of not-for-profit organizations houses more than 98,000 people facing homelessness each year. This paper will provide you with more information about our homeless system.

Understanding youth homelessness Learn about prevention of youth homelessness efforts.

State Homeless System Strategic Plan, Annual Reports and Audits

You can find the state Strategic Plan, annual reports, audits, and other publications from Commerce related to homelessness here

Local Government 5-Year Plans

You can view local government 5-year plans here

The Office of Family and Adult Homelessness (OFAH) supports homeless crisis response systems and best practices that efficiently reduce the number of people living outside.

Read more about the Office of Family and Adult Homelessness

The Office of Supportive Housing is tasked with coordinating with other state agencies to expand the availability of supportive housing for persons with mental health conditions or substance use disorders.

Read more about the Office of Supportive Housing

Every night, thousands of homeless youth in Washington go to sleep without safety, stability, and support of a family or home. Our office leads statewide efforts to reduce and prevent youth homelessness through five priority service areas.

Read more about the Office of Homeless Youth

Washington State Homeless System Performance Reports provide information on critical homeless system performance measures including several of the HEARTH Homeless System Performance Measures. The Homeless System Performance Reports also provide other contextual information about a community’s homeless crisis response system.

Read more about Homeless System Performance. 

Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS)

Read more about HMIS.

The Homelessness Housing and Assistance Act requires each county to conduct an annual one-day survey of people who are without permanent housing — both of those who are sheltered and unsheltered. The 2021 Point in Time Count (PIT) will take place on Jan. 28, 2021.

Read more about Point in Time Count.

Continuum of Care is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Program to promote community-wide commitment and support to end homelessness. It provides grants to nonprofit agencies, state and local governments through an annual competition. Commerce works with 34 counties represented in the Balance of Washington State Continuum of Care Homeless Steering Committee, to submit a consolidated application for funding.

Read more about Continuum of Care.

Commerce homeless grants require service providers to demonstrate competency and equity in best practices. Our goal is that these trainings prepare grantees with the knowledge and tools needed to foster resiliency on an individual, programmatic and agency-level, strengthening their community’s response to homelessness.

Read more about Homeless Service Grantee training