Home Base

Housing security for those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.

Support this program

Rental assistance is a crucial step in stopping the future pipeline into homelessness.

Because of COVID-19, a little over one out of four Seattle metro area households reported at the end of February 2021 that meeting household expenses is either “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult”. One in five had either “no confidence” or “slight confidence” in making next month’s rent payment. 

Demographics of responses of “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult” in paying household expenses:


Asian Hispanic/Latino Black Two or more races, other races White
29\u0025 45\u0025 17\u0025 48\u0025 24\u0025

Demographics of overall % of households in survey:


Asian Hispanic/Latino Black Two or more races, other races White
13\u0025 11\u0025 5\u0025 6\u0025 64\u0025

BIPOC households in the Seattle metro area disproportionately reported in late Feb. that paying for usual household expenses during the pandemic was either “somewhat” or “very” difficult, reflecting inequitable financial security in the community. (Source)

Eviction moratoriums have prevented a widespread new influx of people into homelessness. However, despite a statewide eviction moratorium, rental debt is reaching staggering levels for families. Nationally, rental debt is at roughly $5,400 for people who are unemployed. An estimated 175,000-200,000 households in Washington are behind on rent and at risk of homelessness. The eviction moratoriums have been great, but as they expire soon, being able to rapidly provide rental assistance is even more critical.

Home Base has always focused on helping people avoid eviction. Thanks to this infrastructure we had in place pre-pandemic and critical Federal dollars, we were able to quickly pivot and begin helping families with rental assistance immediately.

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been working with both tenants and landlords to find workable solutions like negotiating a payment standard based on Department of Housing and Urban Development rent and income limit guidelines for King County, improving rental assistance processes to get more money out the door and advocating for eviction moratoriums and additional Federal rental assistance.

We’re also fighting for tenants’ rights that make unfair and race-based evictions harder, provide tenants representation in eviction court and provide other eviction protections to renters.

How It Works

With critical Federal dollars and support from the Community Relief Fund and others, Home Base is providing rental assistance so people don’t fall behind and end up with a mountain of debt to repay after the COVID-19 crisis passes. 

Icon of a megaphone

Using a multi-pronged approach, we get the word out about the availability of rental assistance to as many people and communities as possible.

icon of two people and a wheel cog

Working collaboratively with tenants, landlords and other parties, the agency negotiates a plan to cover past rent, fees and other dues. 

icon of a house with a person standing in front

The tenants are able to stay safely housed without worry of eviction, with goal of ensuring all parties are made whole and a potential eviction is prevented.

Because BIPOC households are disproportionately represented in those who have fallen behind (or are at risk of falling behind) on rent payments, we’re intentionally working with community-based organizations (CBOs) and others to expand outreach and accessibility to the program.

Our Home Base partners include:

Success to Date

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, United Way has supported over 17,000+ households, covering back rent to help keep people securely housed and avoid potential eviction or homelessness once moratoriums lift. 

  • 18,496+ families helped with rental assistance.
  • Over $100 million distributed in rental assistance.
  • 72% of those helped were BIPOC-led households.
  • Many received up to 9 months of back rent paid to landlords and up to 3 months future rent to ensure stability.

“You have literally saved me from becoming homeless, while supporting my efforts to retrain and gain employment. Thank you!!!!!!!” 

A person unemployed due to pandemic, was planning to start living in their car in January before rental assistance kicked in. 

“This is a tremendous relief”

Dad of three under the age of 10. Was working construction until he got COVID-19. Depleted savings to pay rent while balancing helping their kids in remote learning and searching for another job. Home Base able to negotiate payment with landlord.  

“This is truly a miracle. I am most grateful and thankful. I don’t know what else to a say”

Single dad who lost his job after he and his daughter had COVID-19. Home Base was able to negotiate payment terms so he could continue paying partial rent and landlord waived $10K in back rent.

Our Goal

Reduce the Number of Unsheltered People by 50%

When people have access to emergency funds and representation, we all win—tenants stay in their homes, landlords receive their due and there are fewer people living on the streets.

With your support, we can help families avert crisis and stay in their homes.

Home Base Honor Roll

With support from these generous donors, we are helping people stay in their homes.

$1 Million +

  • Challenge Seattle – In Honor of Blake Nordstrom
  • City of Seattle
  • King County
  • Microsoft
  • Seattle Mariners
  • The Seattle Foundation, Coronavirus Response Fund


  • Satya and Anupama Nadella
  • The Neupert Family Foundation
  • Washington Federal Bank


  • Brad Smith and Kathy Surace-Smith
  • Brettler Family Foundation
  • Chris Capossela and Leigh Toner
  • F5 Networks
  • Joshua Green Foundation
  • Merrill Gardens, LLC
  • Perkins Coie
  • Rajesh K. Jha and Sudha Mishra
  • Stolte Family Foundation


  • Anonymous
  • Brian and Diane Langstraat
  • Bryan and Christine White
  • Comcast NBC Universal
  • Greenstein Family Foundation
  • Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation
  • Nordstrom
  • Weyerhaeuser


  • Anonymous
  • AT&T
  • Brendan Burns and Robin Sanders
  • Becky and Mike Hughes
  • David and Cathy Habib Foundation
  • Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
  • Gary Gigot
  • Jon Fine and Paula Selis
  • Rich and Sarah Barton
  • Scott and Katie Renschler


  • Aetna
  • Bainum Family Foundation
  • Charles and Delphine Stevens
  • D.A. Davidson & Company
  • David and Sally Wright
  • Dawn Lepore and Kenneth Gladden
  • Lott Foundation
  • Matthew Kellogg
  • Noreen and Kabir Shahani
  • Ric and Kaylene Anderson
  • Safeco Insurance
  • Sarah Holthaus-Montana and Heinrich Montana
  • Scott and Patty Medén
  • Tom Alberg and Judi Beck
  • Wendy Kaiser and Kriss Sjoblom

Title sponsor:

Founding partners:

More programs related to fighting homelessness: