Get Help with Rent – United Way

Last Updated on September 14, 2022 by Danielle McDonald

After February 28, 2022, the King County Eviction Prevention Rental Assistance Program is no longer accepting rental assistance applications. If you live in King County or City of Seattle and still need rent assistance, complete this Interest Form: bit.ly/RAinterestForm and they will keep you updated as new funds become available. However, there are limited resources at the moment.

Fill out the Support Form below if you have any questions or concerns regarding your application. A member of staff will contact you as soon as possible.

They are available to assist landlords who have 4 or fewer rental units within the city. Please fill out the form below to receive rent assistance.

Are you interested in more Free Money Grants and Government Grants for Individuals?

About the Program

United Way of King County has partnered with the City of Seattle and King County in order to provide rent and utility relief for households most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) provided funds for the program. The amount of rent assistance that a family is eligible for depends on the type of lease agreement they have with their landlord/property managers. It can range from 3 to 12 months (9 months back rent and 3 monthly forward). Agency staff will assist in determining the amount of assistance a household is qualified to receive.

People who are at high risk of being evicted because they cannot pay rent on time or are in financial difficulty can receive rent assistance. This applies to households that have been experiencing impacts due to COVID-19, including:

  • Illness
  • Loss of income
  • Unemployment

Visit the King County’s website to learn more information.

You can also register via the King County Tenant Portal to receive rental assistance prior to February 28, 2022. King County will continue to randomly choose registered tenants to take part in the program until funds are exhausted. Only applicants who are already registered can log in to the tenant portal until February 28, 2022. The DCHS Cultivating Connects Blog has the complete announcement.

Did you also take a look at Rent Assistance – One22 Resource Center?

Program Eligibility

Unfortunately, the current funding is not sufficient to support all households who may qualify for this program’s rent assistance. The eligibility screening criteria are designed to identify those most vulnerable to becoming homeless as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Households must meet the three initial screening criteria:

  • Income below or equal to 50% of Area Median Income
  • Directly or indirectly experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic that affects the household’s ability to pay rent when due.
  • You are at risk of becoming homeless or experiencing housing instability currently.

Rental Assistance Process

Step 1:

Tenants and/or landlords need to submit a pre-registration form for rent help on the King County website.

Step 2:

King County reviews applicants on a weekly basis to determine eligibility for assistance.

Step 3:

Tenants who are selected will be notified to submit a formal application for assistance.

Step 4:

Tenant applications are evaluated for eligibility, and an Agency Staff member will contact you to verify the status of your application.

Step 5:

If a tenant is qualified for assistance, an agency staff member will discuss program guidelines with the landlord and finalize assistance for every tenant. Only eligible and accepted tenants will be asked to submit all necessary documentation.

Step 6:

The landlord will directly receive the rental assistance payment, and it will be applied to the tenant’s rent balance.

Contact Information

Send any questions or requests for accommodations to United Way by filling their online support form below. The Support Form is designed to find the best way to help you. You can also access the online support form here: https://bit.ly/RentHelpSupport

If you need to send a full or partial Rental Assistance Reimbursement Payment to United Way of King County, please complete this document: https://docdro.id/RPRJRG1.

Include the following information with your check when submitting the Support Form. This form gives United Way the right to keep track of details and payment of the original check, and ensure compliance with the program.

You should also have a look at the Holli Fund Grant Application.

Helpful Information & Additional Resources

You may check the King County Bar Association to learn more information, and click here to learn about your rights under the Bridge Proclamation.

The bridge to the state eviction moratorium ended on 10/31/2021. Gov. Jay Inslee established an eviction bridge for Washington, which went into effect July 1, 2021. However, this bridge is not an extension of the state eviction moratorium. For more information, click here.

  • The ‘bridge proclamation states that landlords cannot evict tenants for past rent due between February 29, 2020 and July 31, 2021. In addition, landlords cannot treat past unpaid rent or other charges as enforceable debt until the landlord and their tenant are provided with an opportunity to resolve nonpayment via a rental assistance program.
  • Renters will be required to pay the full rent, a reduced rent negotiated with their landlords, or actively seek rental assistance funding starting August 1, 2021. The landlord can only evict tenants if they have not taken any of these actions. However, the landlord must offer a reasonable repayment plan to the tenant before initiating the eviction process. Landlords must inform tenants, in writing, of the available services and support. For more information, click here.
  • For detailed information about the end of the eviction moratoria, please visit www.seattle.gov/EvictionAssistance
  • Moreover, the City of Seattle’s Renting in Seattle helpline can be reached during business hours at (206) 684-5700. The helpline offers language assistance.
  • For a more complete look at the City’s renter protections, please visit www.seattle.gov/rentinginseattle.

Resources

FAQ for Renters

How do I access the application, and where do I apply?

If you are late on rent, please visit the King County EPRAP webpage. Click the green button “EPRAP Tenant Portal” and complete the pre-registration steps. Also, to stay up-to-date on the latest information, you can always visit King County’s website.

Before the program was launched, I completed the interest survey on United Way of King County’s website. Do I still have to fill out the application?

Yes, you are still required to fill out the application for Rent Assistance. This survey was only used for notification purposes.

What are the requirements for eligibility to receive assistance?

You must meet these criteria:

  1. If you live in Seattle, your income must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income; if you live in greater King County, it must be 50% of the Area Median Income.
  2. You must have at least one month of unpaid rent between March 2020-present.
  3. COVID-19 has had a financial impact on you (including job loss, reduction of income, sickness of anyone in your household, or loss of childcare services).

What information is required to complete the application?

These are the details you will need:

  1. Name, email address, and phone number of your landlord/property manager.
  2. Basic information regarding your household, such as your address, monthly rent amount, income sources, and income amount.

Tenants must document their income and housing instability. However, an agency staff member may be able to assist with self-attestations if they are unable to do so. If tenants are unable to document their income or housing instability, they will not be excluded from receiving assistance.

Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, will not be required. To receive assistance, you don’t need to be a citizen.

What are the maximum months I am eligible for assistance?

The amount of what your household owes will determine how much assistance you get. If you are eligible, the program can provide rental assistance for up to 12 months. This could include future rent of up to 3 months.

What information do I need from my landlord/property manager?

The landlord/property manager will need to provide a lease, written documentation detailing the charges and payments to your rent account (rent ledger), and W-9 for payment processing. Additional documentation may also be required. The case manager will resolve this for you.

You are not required to request your landlord/property managers for these documents. The case manager is in charge of this responsibility.

Do I have to repay this assistance? Is it considered a loan?

No, the federal government provides the rental assistance funds as grants. These funds are NOT a loan, so they do not need to be repaid.

How do I find out if I have been selected to receive assistance?

If you are selected for rent assistance funds, a staff member of a Community-based Organization will contact you. You should monitor the email address and phone number that you submitted with your application. Also, check your junk/spam folders.

How long does it take for my landlord/property manager to receive the payment once approved?

All landlord/property managers should opt for direct deposit to receive payments. This will allow the funds to be available within one week after approval. If a payment is sent by mail, however, the landlord/property manager should receive it within two weeks of approval.

My landlord/property management won’t participate in this program. What should I do?

The program may be able to issue a payment directly to your household if you are chosen for rental assistance but your landlord/property management refuses to participate or refuses to accept the terms of the assistance. Talk to your assigned Agency Staff, and they will work with both you and your landlord in order to determine the best payment option.

When does the eviction moratorium expire?

The Washington eviction moratorium was lifted on June 30, 2021, and the “Bridge Proclamation” ended October 31, 2021. There is currently no eviction moratorium in King County except.

  • City of Seattle: The Eviction Moratorium has been extended through February 28, 2022.
  • City of Burien: The eviction moratorium ended with the Governor’s state of emergency proclamation (20-05)
  • Only evictions that are based on late or non-payment of rent will be subject to the amended eviction moratorium.

Is there any tax impact when receiving rental assistance funds?

Yes, if you’re a Property Manager or Landlord who received Emergency Rental Assistance Funds from your tenant or from an organization in the community on your tenant’s behalf under an Emergency Rental Assistance program, the amount can be included in your gross income.

No, for households who receive Emergency Rental Assistance Funds directly due to the Landlord/Property Manager not accepting the terms of the program, these funds aren’t considered income and are not subject to tax.

Are there any Utilities Assistance programs available?

The Utility Discount Program’s Self-Certification Pilot Program has been extended to October 31, 2021. Customers can self-certify their income instead of providing income documentation to receive benefits faster.

  • For residents of the City of Seattle, utility shut-offs are on hold until April 15, 2022.

FAQ for Landlord/Property Managers

What terms are associated with accepting rent assistance through this program?

This document contains the full terms.

The following must be agreed to by the property manager/landlord:

  • You accept the rent assistance offer as full satisfaction for all outstanding balances up to the agreement date.
  • You agree for all late fees to be waived until the agreement date.
  • You won’t evict, deny renewal of the lease, or increase the rent for this unit beyond the date on the payment agreement.

What information do I need to provide to complete this process?

A rent ledger (or proof of payments/charges for the unit), a lease, and a W9 must be provided. Once your case manager has determined the tenant’s assistance amount, you will also be required to sign a formal rental assistance offer.

Do I have to forgo past due rent/charges that the assistance does not cover?

Possibly. You may be required to waive excess amount owed to receive rental assistance funds if your tenant owes you more rent arrears than the program can cover. This is to make sure that tenants are paid in full for the current month, and they will be less likely to be evicted.

Why is the payment standard less than the tenant’s monthly rent amount?

Fair market rent under HUD guidelines is used to determine the payment standard for each unit. This allows the program to become flexible and ensure that tenants, landlords, and property managers are all served.

Can you help me with my other tenants who are also behind in rent?

Yes, if you were selected for the Large Landlord process. A spreadsheet listing all tenants who are behind on rent will be required for you to give your agency staff member. However, if your tenant was chosen from the tenant pool, and you have more than 10 tenants, visit the King County Website for more information about the Large Landlord Program. Check to see if an interest form is still available.

Do I need to report this income when I file my taxes with the IRS?

You must report all rental assistance funds to the IRS as income. Next tax season, you will receive a 1099 via mail.

What should I do if my approval has been delayed by more than two weeks and I have still not received my payment?

Call or email the Agency Staff you worked with, and/or complete this Rent Help Support Form. The staff will be able check the status of your payments and resolve any delays.

Tip: Include as much detail as you can to get a quicker response. Add the name of the renter, unit number, check amount, check date, Agent with which you worked with, and/or reason for inquiry.

If I have any questions or concerns after I and my tenant have been served, who should I contact?

Call or email the Agency Staff you worked with, and/or complete this Rent Support Form. The staff will be able check the status of your payments and resolve any delays.

Do you have any mortgage assistance programs/referrals?

This program is particularly for rent assistance. For mortgage resources and assistance, visit https://dfi.wa.gov/homeownership.

Donate

Do you want to make more rental assistance accessible to those who are in need? You may donate here, or learn more about financially support it, email [email protected]

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