From an April 19, 2021, Snohomish County press release.
Snohomish County, in partnership with the Volunteers of America Western Washington and key partner organizations, is now accepting applications for Snohomish County’s new Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program.
County residents may submit applications by calling 2-1-1.
ERA is funded through the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 which included the Emergency Rental Assistance Act administered through the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
The ERA is intended to help prevent evictions by paying past due, current, and future rent for eligible households.
The ERA is directing rental assistance to those in greatest need who have been impacted because of income loss or other factors affecting housing stability due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many households in Snohomish County are significantly impacted and may lose housing when the eviction moratorium ends. The funding will not be able to meet all rental assistance needs but is expected to make a significant impact for those most in need.
“There are many families in every neighborhood in Snohomish County suffering because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the idea of losing their homes in the midst of this crisis is another heavy burden,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers.
He went on to say, “We are grateful that these federal funds are available to keep people in their homes and prevent even more suffering. We are in this crisis together, and together, we’ll get through it.”
Families and individual residents are struggling and will need assistance until they are able to get back to work, secure childcare, and resolve other issues that affect their ability to keep up with rental payments.
Housing stability is central to the wellbeing of our families and community, and across Snohomish County, our neighbors need housing assistance as they work to recover from the pandemic.
“We appreciate the work our congressional delegation has done to target resources to communities in need during the pandemic,” said Snohomish County Council Chair Stephanie Wright. “We have known that rent assistance will be a critical part of our recovery and key feature of reducing the negative consequences of the pandemic in our community.”
To be eligible, households must have an income at or below 80% of Area Median Income, experienced a financial hardship directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted their ability to pay rent, and are at risk of experiencing homelessness or current housing instability.
Further, the funding requires the following:
- Priority assistance for households at or below 50% Area Medium Income;
- Priority for households with one or more individuals who are unemployed and have been unemployed for 90-days before applying for assistance.
The County will receive ERA from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Washington State Department of Commerce. Both sources of ERA funding will be administered by community partners and be may accessed through North Sound 211.
Community partners will coordinate with landlords and conduct outreach services to reach eligible households.