November 2, 2021
County Receives additional Rental Assistance Funds; Eligibility Requirements updated
Last week, the Skagit County Board of Commissioners and the Washington State Department of Commerce made an additional $15.4 million of eviction prevention funding available for Skagit County residents. This is the third round of funding provided by the state to address eviction prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic. The County has spent more than $7.6 million in payments to landlords and local utilities to assist more than 900 Skagit County households avoid eviction.
The Skagit County Rental Assistance Program provides financial assistance to income-eligible Skagit County renters who may be struggling to afford rent and utilities, via payments to landlords and utility companies. Renters can complete a simple online 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.
Under the new guidelines and application process, recipients do not have to show that their financial hardship was caused by COVID-19.
“We have heard from many Skagit County residents who were behind on rent but did not qualify for assistance because they could not link their financial hardship to COVID-19,” said Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health Director. “These additional funds and program changes will keep more Skagitonians housed and landlords in business.”
To be eligible for rental assistance, households must meet all three of the following screening criteria:
- Have a missed/passed due rent payment not paid or partially unpaid since March 1, 2020, and still occupy the residence
- Household income is at or below 80% of Area Median Income
- Household is 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
- Catholic Community Services (CCS) Farmworker program — Serving members of the Indigenous, Latinx, and farmworker communities
- 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 communities
- Parent to Parent — Serving families in which one or more individuals have 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.