Programs that can help people struggling to pay rent

Resources For Struggling Renters

SPOKANE, Wash. — The pandemic has been hard enough and now with the cost of rent rising, many people are struggling to keep up with monthly payments. However, there are some resources people can use to get help.

Washington’s Eviction Rent Assistance Program (ERAP) is of the state’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and it has got a lot of use so far.

Between August of last year and June of this year, the program served almost 21,000 households. During recent months, people have said their rent is going up by hundreds of dollars, but there are also some local resources they can utilize for assistance.

SNAP is just one of those organizations and there are four qualifications people have to meet in order to receive emergency rental assistance. Their income must be 80 percent or less of the area’s median income; they must live in the Spokane County limits, but not the city limits; have a member of their household qualify for unemployment, reduced household income or have faced hardship directly or indirectly due to the pandemic; and finally demonstrate their household is at-risk of homelessness or housing instability.

If they qualify, expenses that are covered include 12 months rent and three months of future rent. Applications for tenants with past due rent will be prioritized and the household income must be re-certified every 90 days.

Anyone in-need of assistance can head over to the SNAP website and click on the “Apply for Rental Assistance” tab at the top of the screen. This program will end on December 31.

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