Director: Jennifer Johnson
Skagit County Rental Assistance Program
Funding is available for either renters or landlords who have lost income due to COVID-19 and are struggling to pay or collect rent. An application for rental assistance may be submitted by either an eligible household or by a landlord on behalf of an eligible household.
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:
The following organizations may be able to assist you in completing your application:
What are the eligibility requirements for this program?Tenants must meet all 4 of the following eligibility requirements:
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 will now be able to assist with 100% past rent due and 3 months forward following the current rent due with a maximum of 15 months of assistance. A household can re-apply for an additional 3 months of funding-a household cannot be served more than 15 months of assistance with this funding source.
Can you clarify what Fair Market Rent is?
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.
The time frame for coordinating with the landlord and determining that a client is eligible will vary depending on the documentation 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.
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?
Are undocumented residents eligible for T-RAP 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. T-RAP funds cannot be used to establish residency in a motel.
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, fax, 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 received rental assistance in 2020. Am I eligible for assistance in 2021? Will I have to reapply?
Yes, households that were assisted in 2020 are eligible to apply under the 2021 rental assistance program. Yes, you will have to reapply.
Do you count the stimulus as income?
No, annual income does not include temporary, nonrecurring or sporadic income. The additional unemployment benefit does not have to be counted as income.
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. The landlord should seek assistance from a landlord fund program, more information here.
I am a landlord, can 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:
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?