The King County Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Program begins the first phase of enrollment

April 28: Landlord enrollments

May 17:  Individual tenant enrollments

Thousands of individuals and families throughout King County are at risk for eviction and homelessness. They are struggling to stay afloat financially after months of lost wages, unemployment, poor health or other changes experienced due to COVID-19. With little or no income, residents choose between food, medicine, rent or utilities—many falling behind one or more months of rent.

King County is gearing up to help with a new Eviction Prevention and Rent Assistance Program (EPRAP) for 2021.

Phase One: Landlords with 5 or more units behind in rent

The first phase focuses on signing up rental properties with five or more tenants who need assistance. Outreach to landlords, property managers, and property owners is underway now, and enrollment of properties will happen over the next three weeks. Information for property signup is available on the EPRAP Landlord page.

Individuals and families living in properties signed up and approved for the program will be covered for rental assistance and will not have to apply independently in May.

Phase Two: Tenants and Small Landlords (less than 5 units behind in rent)

Outreach and enrollment of individual tenants starts Monday, May 17, 2021, immediately after the landlord signup period ends. Individuals interested in EPRAP should submit an Interest Form to sign up for updates. Tenants registered after May 17th and selected to receive assistance will be contacted to complete the application process.

What’s New in 2021

New for 2021 is the creation of community-based rental assistance Hubs and Spokes. King County will fund several local community service agencies to provide direct rental assistance to clients in need. Some clients will be people already served through other programs based on these community organizations. Many of the agencies specialize in services to a specific ethnic or cultural community, so they can quickly identify and serve individuals and families within their community who need the most help.

The new program is significantly larger than the 2020 program, with over $125 million available to assist residents. EPRAP will help King County residents in danger of eviction by paying past, current, and future rent. Payments go directly to landlords or property owners. The goal is to deploy multiple ways to get rent assistance efficiently to those at the highest risk of eviction. The phased enrollment should significantly reduce duplication of registrations and facilitate smoother and faster payments for all.

The 2020 eviction prevention program provided rent assistance to 9,073 households countywide and expended over $37 million. Based on learnings from last year, staff worked to improve and strengthen the program for 2021. The Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) created a new data system to enhance the flow of enrollments and payments.

For information or general questions on the Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Program, call 206-263-3481 or email DCHS Rental Assistance.

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