August 23, 2021
County Launches Rent Assistance Portal for Skagitonians; Increases Capacity to Serve More Residents
Skagit County residents now have a convenient option to get pre-approved for help with rent and utility bills. This week, the County, and its community partners launched a new online portal where renters can complete a simple eligibility survey and get matched with a rental assistance provider, or complete an application for assistance.
To access the portal, go to: www.skagitcounty.net/renthelp.
The Skagit County Rental Assistance Program provides financial assistance to income-eligible Skagit County renters, and their landlords, who may be struggling to afford rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Skagit County Rental Assistance Program is made possible by an $8.9 million grant provided by the Washington State Department of Commerce and funded by the Treasury Rent Assistance Program (T-RAP). The program is intended to prevent evictions during the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis by paying past due and current/future rent and utilities for people needing relief.
“We know that many Skagit County residents have been impacted by COVID-19, and some are having trouble staying current on rent,” said George Kosovich, Skagit County Public Health Analyst. “Help is available, and we are hopeful that the new online portal will make it easier for residents and landlords to connect up with rental assistance providers.”
Households must meet all four of the following screening criteria to be eligible for rental assistance:
- Someone in the household has been unemployed for at least 90 days, or experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Must be currently experiencing housing instability or risk of housing instability, which may include unpaid rental fees or anticipation of inability to pay future rent.
- Household income is at, or below, 80% of Area Median Income.
- Household resides in Skagit County.
Residents who complete the online eligibility survey will get matched with one of the following rental assistance providers:
- FORWARD Online Application - Serving residents of Skagit County
- Housing Authority of Skagit County - Serving Section 8 Voucher Holders and tenants of Housing Authority-owned Properties
- Catholic Community Services (CCS) Farmworker program - Serving members of the Indigenous, Latinx, and Farmworker Community
- Volunteers of America Western Washington - Serving residents of Skagit County
- Northwest Youth Services - Serving young adults ages 18-24
- Community Action of Skagit County - Serving residents of Skagit County
In addition, three organizations will offer outreach and extra assistance to complete the online assistance application:
- Skagit Legal Aid - Serving residents of Skagit County and households facing eviction for reasons other than past-due rent
- Community to Community Development (C2C) - Serving members of the farmworker and Latinx community
- Parent to Parent - Serving families where one or more individual has a developmental disability and/or complex healthcare needs
For more information about the Rental Assistance Program, to check eligibility, or to apply for assistance, go to www.skagitcounty.net/renthelp or call (360) 416-1500.