A second round of funding through the state’s Eviction Rent Assistance Program is available to Harborites who have missed rent payments since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
To administer the program, Grays Harbor County Public Health contracted with FORWARD, a digital platform for program administration, and a human service company called the Equity Institute to divvy $291,000 in grants to households in the county.
The funding will cover missed or unpaid rents since March 1, 2020 for people still living in the same residences, and people with an income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income for Grays Harbor County, or $63,000, according to data provided by FORWARD.
The program can also assist with future rents, as well as basic utilities such as electricity, water and trash service.
U.S. citizenship is not a requirement for eligibility in the program, and people who already receive monthly federal subsidies for housing are still eligible for funding, according to FORWARD. Applicants are required to provide proof of income, housing documentation and proof that rent has gone unpaid.
Once applicants are approved for funding, money will be paid directly to the landlords and service providers.
According to a press release, the $291,000 is an allocation from the Washington state Legislature. The Washington state Department of Commerce received rent assistance funding for October 2021 through June 2023 from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Before that, the first round of rent assistance funding was administered August 2020 through June 2021 as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
“The long-term financial effects of the pandemic are preventing our residents from fully recovering and many of these households are having difficulty paying for essential expenses,” said Natali Burgess, housing program coordinator for public health, in a press release from FORWARD. “Supporting them through these ongoing financial challenges via this emergency grant funding allows them to have a stable foundation as they continue to recover.”
For more information and to apply for Eviction Rent Assistance Program funds visit https://forwardplatform.com/grays-harbor-county-public-health-eviction-rent-assistance-program/.