SOUTH BEND — Pacific County Health and Human Services began accepting applications from individuals for rental assistance as of Aug. 17.

This project is supported by a grant awarded by U.S. Department of the Treasury. Grant funds are administered by the Local Government Coronavirus Relief Fund through the Washington State Department of Commerce. This funding source ends Dec. 31, or once funds are spent, whichever occurs first.

The Eviction Rent Assistance Program (ERAP) Grant is intended to prevent evictions by paying past due, current, and future rent, and targeting limited resources to those with the greatest needs while working to distribute funds. Individuals may apply for up to three months of rent payments in any combination of rental arrears, current rent, or future rent through December 2020. The program only pays up to the Fair Market Rent for the rental or up to 80% of the rental amount.

There isn’t enough funding to assist all of the households who may be eligible for rent assistance under this program. In order to be eligible, households must meet two initial criteria: 1) Current income (over last 60 days) at or below 50% of Area Median Income, and 2) At least one month of rent not paid or partially unpaid since March 1, 2020.

Additionally, household must also meet at least one of the following additional screening criteria (any member of the household can meet the criteria, it doesn’t have to be the head of household): 1) Rent burdened: 50% or more of current monthly income is needed to pay rent, 2) Previously homeless within last five years. This includes experiences of couch surfing/double up, 3) Eviction history within last seven years, 4) Housing disrupted due to household member race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion, 5) At risk of severe illness as per CDC (62or older, underlying condition), 6) Disability of any household member. Includes a physical, developmental, mental, or emotional impairment, including impairment caused by alcohol or drug abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, or brain injury. A person with HIV/AIDS is considered disabled. Adults 24 or younger, may also qualify for assistance if they are pregnant or parenting, or have been involved in foster care, mental health, drug or alcohol treatment, court systems, or if they were adopted.

U.S. citizenship is NOT an eligibility requirement of this program.

Application materials can be found at www.pacificcountycovid19.com under the Resources Page or acquired by emailing rentassistance@co.pacific.wa.us. Pacific County Health Department Staff are able to assist individuals in filling out the required forms for rental assistance. Send applications to rentassistance@co.pacific.wa.us, by fax to 360-642-9352, or via mail to Pacific County Health Department, Attn: Rent Assistance, 7013 Sandridge Rd, Long Beach, WA 98631. If you need assistance filling out forms, contact 360-214-9996 or email rentassistance@co.pacific.wa.us. Once an application is received or request for rental assistance is made, Health Department staff will work with individuals to ensure documentation is complete and accurate.

Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

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