Applications for rent assistance will be opening soon. If you are behind in rent, please complete this 1 minute interest form and we will contact you when more funds become available, on or before May 17, 2021. At that time, we will send you information about the next steps you will have to complete to be considered for eligibility of rental assistance.
Since April 2020, United Way has provided rent assistance to more than 10,000 households impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis.
About the Program
Good news! Rent Help is available! United Way of King County is partnering with the City of Seattle and King County to provide rent and utility relief to households most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds for this program were received through the Federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA). Eligible families can receive up to 12 months of help (9 months in back rent and 3 months forward).
Rent assistance is available to people who are at risk of eviction due to nonpayment of rent or who are unable to meet their rent obligations. This includes households that are experiencing impacts from COVID-19, including:
- Loss of Income
Unfortunately, there isn’t enough funding at this time to assist all of the households who may be eligible for rent assistance under this program. The purpose of the eligibility screening criteria is to target those most likely to become homeless due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Households must meet all three of the initial screening criteria:
- Income at or below 50% of Area Median Income (AMI).
- Experiencing a financial hardship directly or indirectly due to the COVID-19 outbreak that threatens the household’s ability to pay the costs of the rental property when due.
- At risk of experiencing homelessness or currently experiencing housing instability.
Rental Assistance Process
The following steps are for both the separate Large Landlord and Tenant Pool processes.
If you are an individual tenant seeking assistance, start with step 1 by filling out the interest form yourself.
If you are a property management company or landlord interested in the Large Landlord process to support all your tenants behind in rent, you will also have to start with Step 1 to fill out the interest form on King County’s website to request assistance for all your tenants in any or all property buildings you operate.
Tenant and/or landlords must submit interest form on King County website.
King County selects tenants (on a weekly basis) to be reviewed for assistance eligibility.
Tenants that are selected will receive a notification to submit a formal application for assistance.
Tenant applications are reviewed for eligibility and will be contacted by a case manager to review status of application.
If a tenant is determined eligible for assistance, an agency staff member will review program guidelines with the landlord and finalize assistance for all their tenant(s). All necessary documentation will be retrieved for eligible and accepted tenants only.
Rental assistance payment will be sent directly to the landlord and applied to tenant’s rent balance.
FAQ for Renters
When will the application be available and how do I apply?
If you are behind in rent, you can complete this one-minute interest form and we will contact you when more funds become available, on or before May 17, 2021. At that time, we will send you information about the next steps you will have to complete to be considered for eligibility of rental assistance.
Visit King County’s website to stay updated on current information.
I completed the interest survey posted on United Way of King County’s website before the program launched. Do I still need to complete the application?
Yes, you still need to complete an application for Rent assistance. The survey was used for notification purposes only.
What are the eligibility requirements to receive assistance?
The following must apply to you:
- Your income is at or below the 50% Median Area Income.
- You have at least one month of unpaid rent between March 2020-present.
- You have been financially impacted by COVID-19 (including job loss, reduction of income, sickness of yourself or a household member, or loss of childcare services).
What information do I need to complete the application?
You will need the following information:
- Your landlord/property managers name, phone number and email address.
- Basic information about your household such as your address, monthly rent amount, types of income sources and income amount.
Tenants will need to document their income and housing instability, but an agency staff member can help with self-attestations if the tenant is unable to provide proof of this information. Tenants will not be exclude from assistance if they can’t document their income and housing instability.
You will not be required to provide your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). There are no citizenship requirements to receive assistance.
How many months of assistance am I eligible to receive?
The amount of assistance you receive is determined by what your household owes. Our program is able to provide up to 12 months of rental assistance, which could include up to 3 months of future rent, if you are eligible.
What information do you need from my landlord/property manager?
Your landlord/property manager will need to provide a lease, written documentation of the charges and payments to your rental account (rent ledger) and W-9 for payment processing. Other documentation may be required as needed. This will be resolved by the case manager processing your assistance.
You do not have to contact your landlord/property manager for these documents; that is the responsibility of your case manager.
Do I have to pay this assistance back? Is it a loan?
No, rental assistance funds are provided by the federal government as a grant. They are NOT a loan and do not have to be paid back.
How will I know if I am chosen to receive assistance?
You will be contacted by a case manager if you are selected to receive rent assistance funds. Monitor the email address and phone number you provided on your application; check your spam/junk folders.
Once approved, how long will it take for my landlord/property manager to receive the payment?
We encourage all landlord/property managers to opt into receiving payments via direct deposit, so funds can be received within the week of approval. However, if a payment is mailed, the landlord/property manager should receive the payment within two weeks of approval.
My landlord/property manager will not participate in this program. What can I do?
If you are selected for rental assistance and your landlord/property manager refuses to participate or refuses to accept the terms of assistance, talk to your case manager. We are developing alternative options for renters with these circumstances.
When does the eviction moratorium end?
Governor Inslee has most recently extended the eviction moratorium in Washington state until June 30, 2021.
FAQ for Landlord/Property Managers
What terms are associated with accepting rent assistance through this program?
Full terms can be found in this document.
Landlord/property manager must agree to the following:
- You accept the rent assistance offer as full satisfaction for all balances through the agreement date.
- You agree to waive all late fees through the agreement date.
- You will not evict, refuse to renew the lease, or raise the rent for this unit the date listed on the payment agreement form.
What information do I need to provide to complete this process?
You must provide a rent ledger (or proof of payments/charges for unit), a lease and a completed W9. You will also be required to sign a formal rent assistance offer once your case manager determines the tenant’s assistance amount.
Will I/why do I have to forgive any past-due rent/charges that the assistance does not cover?
Possibly. If your tenant owes more rental arrears than our assistance can cover, you will be required to forgive that excess amount owed in order to receive rental assistance funds. This is done to ensure that tenants are brought to a current ($0) for the current month and will be less likely to face eviction.
Why is the payment standard less than the tenant’s monthly rent amount?
The payment standard for each unit is determined by fair market rent under HUD guidelines. This allows the program to stretch its dollars and ensure that the maximum number of tenants and landlords/property managers are served.
I have other tenants behind in rent, can you help them too?
If you have been selected as part of the Large Landlord process, then yes. You will be required to provide your agency staff member with a spreadsheet listing all tenants behind in rent. However, if your tenant was selected from the tenant pool and you if you have more than 10 tenants, visit the King County Website to learn more about the Large Landlord program and see if the interest form is still open.
Will I have to report this income to the IRS when I file my taxes?
All rental assistance funds you receive must be reported to the IRS as income and you will receive a 1099 in the mail next tax season. Please note that any rent balances you forgive may also be claimed on your taxes as a business deduction/loss.
What do I do if it has been more than 2 weeks since approval and I still have not received my payment?
Contact the case manager that you worked with and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be able to check the status of your payment/resolve any delays.
Who should I contact if I have questions/concerns after my tenant and I have been served?
Contact the case manager that you worked with. Or you can email email@example.com.
Do you have any mortgage assistance programs/referrals?
This program is specifically for rent assistance. For mortgage resources and assistance, visit https://dfi.wa.gov/homeownership.
Helpful Info for Renters
The state eviction moratorium ends on 6/30/2021. During this time, you cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19. There are only a few reasons your landlord can evict you.To learn more about the eviction moratorium, your rights as a tenant and what to do if you can’t pay your rent, go here.
Click here for a helpful document on talking to your landlord/property manager.
If you are a low-income renter and have received an eviction notice, please contact the Housing Justice Project.
To better understand your rights as a renter and/or receive tenants rights counseling, check out Tenants Union.
If you need legal aid, check out the Northwest Justice Project.
Other Help during the COVID-19 Crisis:
Whether you’re unemployed, looking for help paying your utility bills, or trying to find out where to access nutritious meals, you can find a comprehensive list of resources here.
Are you looking to donate and make even more rental assistance available to people who need it?
Thank You to our Key Partners: