Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Washington State Expected to Receive $507 Million of Rental Assistance Funds

The Washington Multifamily Housing Association (WMFHA) reports that funds to be managed by the state and counties are expected to approximate $507 million for the state. 

The United States Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 last week, which was signed by the President on Sunday. The Act provides for $25 billion in rental assistance to be distributed by the Department of the Treasury.

  • Rental assistance eligibility includes current or unpaid rent and utility payments (up to 9 months of rent arrears, and/or 3 months going forward) and other directly or indirectly incurred housing expenses because of the pandemic. 

    • Eligible households are those: 
      • With a household income below 80 percent of area median income (AMI); 
      • States should prioritize families with incomes below 50% of area median income (but no set percentage of funds distributed is required), as well as renter households who are currently unemployed and have been unemployed for 90 days.
      • With a demonstrable risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
      • Have one or more household members who qualify for unemployment benefits or experienced financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the pandemic.
      • Income eligibility is based on time of application and must be recertified every three months.

  • Administrative programs distributing rental assistance may use up to 10 percent of allocated funding for housing stability services, including case management and other services intended to keep households stably housed.

  • In Washington, the rental assistance is likely to be distributed in a similar manner to the $100 million in state rental assistance distributed earlier in 2020. 

  • The application process requires renters to apply for assistance from their administrative agency managing the program. Housing providers can also apply for rental assistance on behalf of the resident but must inform them and secure their consent.

  • Payments are sent directly to the housing provider.
The WMFHA provides links to local rental assistance programs on its website at:

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