King County’s Eviction Prevention and Rent Assistance Program (EPRAP) is building momentum as new training and capacity building staff joined the EPRAP team last week and over the weekend, working one-on-one with tenants and landlords to move applications to payment.
In the blog this week:
- New Action Teams on the job
- Simplified enrollment process in place
- Updated totals for rent assistance payments to date
Action Teams Stepping Up
In addition to implementing Treasury guidance to simplify application processing (see below), King County has rapidly expanded staffing to process EPRAP applications. King County:
- Brought on a new contractor-staffed team to begin additional outreach to tenants and landlords to speed finalization and proper completion of EPRAP applications, and assist in processing landlord requests for advance payments.
- Reassigned Department of Community and Human Services staff on an emergency basis to form a new, 20-person EPRAP application processing team. That team has already started, working over the weekend to process applications.
- Recruited a second action team made up of staff from other County departments to further expand EPRAP application processing.
Simplified Enrollment and Processing Fully Implemented
King County was able to substantially simplify its rental assistance program when the federal government issued new guidance to simplify EPRAP rules and requirements. King County immediately implemented several important changes:
- Tenant Self-Attestation – All tenants can now self-attest to their eligibility rather than having to furnish detailed proof of eligibility.
- Landlord Self-Attestation – All landlords can now self-attest to their ledgers and leases to confirm how much unpaid rent is due to them.
- Advance Payments – All Large Landlord Program participants are eligible for Advance Payments. King County is offering up to 50 percent of the total rental delinquency due upfront. More details about the rental advancement program is available here.
The new action teams will focus on individualized problem-solving to get applications over the finish line and into the queue for payment!
This week’s updated total for rent assistance
This week’s updated total for rent assistance paid since January 2021 to September 20, 2021 is now $34.3 million, including $4.4 million spent over the past week. King County EPRAP will do a weekly reconciliation of the funding to track all spending.
One of the purposes of forming a new tenant application processing team is to combine the efforts of DCHS’s community-based organization partners with supporting County staff to rapidly increase the number of tenant applications that are being paid.
Landlords: Need help? The EPRAP is hosting a weekly Zoom Q&A on Fridays at 10 a.m. for landlords participating in the Large Landlord Program. These sessions respond to feedback and requests from landlords for quick help with application questions.
King County is committed to doing all that we can to help stabilize low-income households most at risk of homelessness due to financial impacts of COVID. We will keep you updated via this blog!