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August 20, 2020

Skagit County announces funds, partners to help Skagitonians pay rent during COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, Skagit County announced the availability of $1.4 million in Eviction Rent Assistance for Skagitonians impacted by COVID-19. This grant was provided by the Washington State Department of Commerce, and funded by federal Coronavirus Aide, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) act dollars. The program is intended to prevent evictions by paying past due and current/future rent for people needing relief.

“COVID-19 has created difficult situations for all of us, but especially so for renters,” said Chair of the Board of County Commissioners Ron Wesen. “We’re thankful for the opportunity to provide Skagitionians who are housing insecure with a little help to keep the roof over their heads.”
Skagit County is partnering with four local agencies to help serve the diverse populations in Skagit County:

  • Samish Indian Nation will receive $75,000 targeted for tribal members. You can reach the Samish Indian Nation at 360-726-3366
  • Housing Authority of Skagit County will receive $77,970 targeted for Section 8 housing voucher holders and farmworkers. For Spanish-language information and assistance, contact Aileen Gonzalez at 360-428-1959 ext. 200. For English-language information and assistance, contact Alice Marshall at 360-428-1959 ext. 202.
  • Catholic Community Services (CCS) Farmworker program will receive $395,360 targeted for farmworkers and families in CCS apartments. You can contact CCS Farmworker center at 360-424-8655.
  • Community Action of Skagit County will receive $836,343 for the broader community. You can contact Community Action at 360-399-3006.

Groups of people who have historically been denied equitable access to rent assistance and those who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak will be prioritized. Basic eligibility requirements are that a household is behind on or unable to pay current rent. The household must also be low income, defined as 50 percent or below of area median income (AMI). For a household of two, AMI is $2,617 per month, for a family of four AMI is $3,267 per month.

“Stable and secure housing is one of the most important indicators of good mental and physical health,” said Commissioner Ken Dahlstedt. “While we’re taking on the pandemic, it’s important we keep people housed and prevent other, unintended health outcomes from the necessary economic slowdown.”

Commissioner Lisa Janicki said, “We’re thankful to have great partnerships with the Washington State Department of Commerce and our housing providers in Skagit. This would not be possible without their tireless work advocating for the housing unstable.”
The program is first come, first served and will operate until December 31, 2020 or until funds are exhausted. Any questions regarding the application should be directed to the servicing agency. If you have questions about the program in general, or who you should contact at the agencies, call Skagit County Public Health at 360-416-1500.