King County is transitioning to the next phase of the Eviction Prevention and Rent Assistance Program (EPRAP) that has distributed nearly $340 million in rent assistance across the county. This month, we will receive an estimated $10 million in additional funding from the Washington State Department of Commerce and plan to contract these funds to our trusted partners at United Way, so they can fully expend the remaining rent assistance funds.
United Way and their partners will continue to process applications for tenants who pre-registered before February 28, 2022 through the tenant portal. As of today, 1,393 households are assigned a provider to complete their application and determine eligibility. Another 4,685 households have pre-registered but are not yet assigned a provider. With an estimated additional $10 million remaining in rent assistance funding, we expect United Way to serve roughly 2,000 more households.
Some households who applied for funding will not receive assistance before we exhaust the funds available to us, which is why we are partnering with the City of Kirkland and the City of Redmond. Together, we can share data on pre-registered tenants so they may be served through the rent assistance programs in those jurisdictions.
EPRAP began in March 2020 and did not exist before the pandemic. With more than 70 organizations involved in distributing rent assistance, the program engaged directly with communities, served some of the hardest hit communities in the county, and prevented households from getting evicted. You can learn more about EPRAP’s impact on our dashboard.
As the program transitions, we continue to work with community-based organizations, including Centro Cultural Mexicano, St. Stephen Housing Association, and Open Doors for Multicultural Families, as well as a third-party auditing firm to assess all payments and ensure they are in the hands of people who need it most.
Currently, we are seeing a $4.7 million potential loss involving 174 cases of potential inappropriate payments. Of the total $4.7 million, $1.5 million was recouped, resulting in $3.2 million that is still being reviewed. Payments have been recouped through recalled Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments, cancelled checks and proactive reimbursement. The $3.2 million in potential net loss represents .08 percent of the total EPRAP funding.
King County continues to do the work to recover funds and redirect them to tenants. We are working with our partners in this program and informing local law enforcement of specific cases as we review all payments in the reconciliation process.
As funds for rent assistance decrease, King County is increasing the eviction prevention work with Housing Justice Project. King County will extend the contract with the Housing Justice Project through December. To date, $5.3 million in funding for eviction prevention has been distributed reinstating tenancy for over 330 households.
If you have questions regarding rent assistance status or general inquiries, contact www.uwkc.org/renthelp.