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Director: Jennifer Johnson

 

Skagit County Rental Assistance Program

 

RENTAL ASSISTANCE HOME

 

CHECK ELIGIBILITY AND APPLY

 

FAQ’S

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

EVICTION IN SKAGIT COUNTY

 

CONTACT

FAQ’S

Low income households living in Skagit County may be eligible to receive funds to cover past due, current, and future rent as well as past-due and current due utility bills.

Beginning June 28, Skagit County will prioritize its remaining Coronavirus rental assistance funds to assist households that are imminently at risk of an eviction. If the state provides additional funding, the county could possibly reopen the system to new applicants at that time.

Households that have received an Eviction Resolution Pilot Program (ERPP) or a 14-day Pay or Vacate Notice may apply for assistance regardless of the June 28 cutoff date. Households that have not received an ERPP notice but have applied for assistance and have not yet been approved will also not be impacted by the cutoff date.

In addition to having an ERPP notice in hand, households must also meet all three of the following screening criteria:

  1. Have a missed/passed due rent payment not paid or partially unpaid since March 1, 2020, and still occupy the residence
  2. Household income is at, or below, 80% of Area Median Income
  3. Household is in Skagit County

I am a tenant seeking assistance. How do I apply?

Applicants can fill out the eligibility questionnaire to pre-qualify and get matched with a rental assistance provider or they can contact a rental assistance provider directly.

Where to determine eligibility and apply:

Skagit Legal Aid Skagit Legal Aid
Call 1-888-201-1014. Seniors call 1-888-387-7111.
Indigenous and Latinx Farmworker Community Catholic Community Services
Call the Farmworker Center at 360-424-8655, Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 4:30 pm.
Residents of Skagit County Community Action of Skagit County
Schedule an appointment Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m by calling 360- 416-7588.
18-24 years old Northwest Youth Services
Call Northwest Youth Services at 360-336-1988.
Communities of Color Helping Hands Project Organization
Call: 425-750-8306
Email: selinao@helpinghands-project.org

The following organizations may be able to assist you in completing your application:

Farmworkers and undocumented Community Families with developmental disabilities and/or complex healthcare needs
Community to Community Development
Call: 360-899-5641 or meet in– person 224 Stewart Rd. #200
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Parent to Parent 
Call: 360-416-7570 x 2999
Email: p2poffice@sparckids.org

What are the eligibility requirements for this program?

Starting June 28th, 2022 only households that have received an Eviction Resolution Pilot Program (ERPP) notice or an unlawful detainer notice may apply. 

Additionally, tenants must meet all 3 of the following eligibility requirements:

  • Have a missed/passed due rent payment not paid or partially unpaid since March 1, 2020 and still occupying the residence.
  • Your household income is at or below 80% of Area Median Income
  • Your household resides in Skagit County

How much financial assistance can you offer?

Currently, we will be able to assist with maximum rent payment amount up to 150% Fair Market Rent (FMR) and must not be more than the total rent due amount. We can assist with a past due rent  incurred after March 1, 2020 and 3 months future rent and utilities.

Can you clarify what Fair Market Rent is?

Final FY 2022 & Final FY 2021 FMRs By Unit Bedrooms

Year Efficiency 1-Bdrm 2-Bdrm 3-Bdrm 4-Bdrm
FY 2022 FMR $868 $1,035 $1,307 $1,857 $2,176
FY 2021 FMR $839 $974 $1,225 $1,753 $2,095

Do I need to pay back rental assistance I receive?

No, rental assistance paid on behalf of eligible households does not need to be paid back. This is not a loan program.

How will I be contacted by the Rental Assistance  provider?

The provider will be in touch via email and phone.  Please check your email regularly after you have submitted your application and please answer unknown calls. 

When/how will I be notified when I am approved?

A service provider will work with the applicant to determine eligibility and collect required documentation.  The applicant will be contacted regarding the outcome of eligibility via email or phone.

How long will it take to pay my rent?

The time frame for coordinating with the landlord and determining that a client is eligible will vary depending on the information submitted and how quickly households and landlords respond.  If an application is submitted with all required documentation, they will be processed more quickly than an application that is missing items. Please submit a copy of the ERPP or Unlawful Detainer Notice with your application.

 

What utilities are eligible?

Electric, Water/Sewer, Gas, Garbage Pickup, Fuel Oil, and Internet. Phone and TV bills are NOT included in the program.

How do I know if my income qualifies for assistance?

  Household Size Maximum Income
1 $48,250
2 $55,150
3 $62,050
4 $68,900
5 $74,450
6 $79,950
7 $85,450
8 $90,950

Are undocumented residents eligible for assistance?

United States citizenship is NOT an eligibility requirement of this program.

What if I am staying in a motel?

Households in informal rental agreements (e.g. Staying with family/friends or in a motel long term) are able to receive financial assistance. When determining FMR for motel rooms, the efficiency FMR should be used.

Do I need to talk to my landlord about obtaining assistance before applying?

If the tenant feels comfortable, they can inform their landlord that they have initiated a request for assistance; if the tenant approves of electronic exchange of information, it may be helpful to obtain the landlords preferred contact information (email address, phone number, etc.) this can improve the time to process the application however, it is not necessary.

After a tenant has been found to be eligible by a rental assistance agency, the agency will contact the landlord to discuss the program and get their agreement. Tenants do not need to ask their landlords if they will agree to the landlord conditions. If the landlord does not accept the conditions, the tenant cannot be served and will be notified.

I have already received rental assistance since March 1, 2020. Am I eligible for assistance now? Will I have to reapply?

Households that were previously assisted may still be eligible to apply for additional months of unpaid rent and utility assistance, applicants will need to submit a new application and cannot receive duplicate assistance for the same month. (For example: If you applied for rental assistance to cover your July 2020 rent, you cannot re-apply to cover July, 2020 rent).

I receive a monthly federal housing subsidy. Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes. Households that receive a monthly federal subsidy are eligible to apply for assistance. However, assistance will only be provided for the amount not covered by other programs.

Will the Emergency Rental Assistance be considered taxable income for households?

No. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Emergency Rental Assistance is to help eligible households that require financial assistance to pay for rent, utilities, and other related expenses. Rental and utility payments ONLY count as gross income for your landlord or utility provider.

Will the payment amounts  I receive as a landlord be considered taxable income?

Yes. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), rental payments and utility payments you receive from ERAP funding, whether from a customer or a Distributing Entity on the customer’s behalf, are included in your gross income.

Can a household still apply for assistance if they’ve moved out of the unit but still owe rent to their previous landlord?

This rental assistance program is meant to assist households with their current rental obligation to prevent eviction. If the household has already moved out, they are not going to be able to meet the documentation requirement of verifying current rental address and rental obligation.

I am a landlord, can I apply for funds if my tenant owes rent?

Landlords can initiate rental assistance on behalf of their tenants. The provider must still verify the household’s eligibility. Landlord’s initiating assistance must:

  • Submit a rent payment agreement form and a copy of their W-9.
  • Accept any payments received as satisfaction of the tenant’s rental obligations
  • Ensure the tenant signed the Payment Agreement Form at some point in the process This can be initiated by the landlord or the agency. Electronic signatures are allowable. 

Under the 2020 rental assistance  program, some landlords collected 80% of what was due because their unit was over Fair Market Rent (FMR). Are landlords able to now apply for the difference under the current program?

No, landlords accepted these payments as full satisfaction of any balance owed for the months paid by the program I have a renter who owes past due rent but they are not willing to participate in the program for unknown reasons.

Can I apply directly as their landlord?

Yes. A landlord may apply on the renter’s behalf, and communication will be sent to the tenant informing them of the application. The renter must then complete the application for it to be considered for approval and payment.

What can I, as the landlord, do to facilitate a smooth process to apply and/or receive Skagit County’s Emergency Rental Assistance?

  • Share information about the Skagit County’s Emergency Rental Assistance program with your renter(s).
  • Ensure that you and your renter(s) have access to the necessary documentation, such as a copy of the lease agreement and notices showing the amount of rent or utilities due.
  • Assist your renter(s) with collecting the required documentation.
  • Provide renters with your email address to facilitate communication and expedite the application process.

 

RENTAL ASSISTANCE HOME

 

CHECK ELIGIBILITY AND APPLY

 

FAQ’S

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

EVICTION IN SKAGIT COUNTY

 

CONTACT