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How to Apply for Rental Assistance Washington State

Posted by sonrise on July 28, 2022
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The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life for landlords and renters alike in unprecedented ways. More than two years onward from the start of the pandemic, there are clear signs that things have gotten much better. Even so, it’s equally clear that many are still struggling.

Here in Washington state, the number of renters who are behind on their rent has fallen well below the pandemic peak of 2021. Still, the numbers remain much higher than before Coronavirus.

Ultimately, both landlords and renters benefit when tenants have the resources they need to pay their rent on time every month. Fortunately, rental assistance is still available to those in need, and we’re here to share some essential information on how it can be obtained. If you’re in need of Eviction Rent Assistance in Washington state, we’re here to help.

Rental Assistance Washington State

As you may recall, way back in 2020, a proclamation issued by Governor Jay Inslee prohibited tenants from being evicted due to not being able to pay rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although that proclamation ended on Oct. 31, 2021, renters in Washington still have options.

Since last summer, the Washington State Department of Commerce has been overseeing COVID-19 emergency rent assistance, and has partnered with individual counties to do so. The counties, in turn, work with local service providers to process applications and issue payments.

If you are a tenant in need of assistance, you should know that either you or your landlord may contact the local rent assistance provider in your county. If you’re looking for a list of those providers, you can find one here.

Ultimately, renters and landlords each have a role in this process, and the best way to get rental assistance is for both parties to act in collaboration. When renters are approved for assistance, payments are made directly to the landlords for past-due rent. It is estimated that, by the end of 2023, approximately 80,000 households in Washington state will have received assistance.

Additional resources 

In addition to administering rent assistance, counties in Washington are also required to offer dispute resolution services for landlords and tenants. For help resolving an eviction-related issue, contact your local dispute resolution center. A directory of them is available here.

Renters under the age of 25 can also seek assistance through the Youth and Young Adult Eviction Rent Assistance Program. Click here to learn more about resources that are available through this program.

Learn more about rental assistance

U.S. census data from late 2021 showed that 8% of renters in Washington state are behind on their rent. That’s down from the peak of 13% in early 2021, but still well above the pre-pandemic numbers of 3-5%. If you’re among those who are still struggling due to the impacts of COVID-19, it’s important to know that help is available.

More information about Washington’s Eviction Rent Assistance Program (ERAP) is available through the Washington State Department of Commerce. COVID-19-related eviction complaints can also be brought to the Washington State Department of the Attorney general.

We know this has been a tough time for everyone involved in the rental market. Our team of dedicated property management professionals has helped countless landlords and renters weather the pandemic storm, and we’re always happy to provide any information you may need. Contact us today to learn more about how to apply for rental assistance in Washington state.

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