Chelan-Douglas Community Action Council offers Rent Assistance program

Courtesy Chelan-Douglas Community Action Council

NCW - The Chelan-Douglas Community Action Council is offering a rent assistance program to qualifying individuals and households in Chelan and Douglas county. The program offers financial assistance for a combination of rent and utility arrears, current rent and utility payments, future rent payments, and other housing costs related directly or indirectly to COVID-19.
The program launched on April 26 and to date Chelan-Douglas Community Action Council has provided support for 93 qualifying households.
The purpose of the eligibility screening criteria is to target those most likely to become homeless but for this assistance. Households must meet all three of the initial screening criteria:
Income at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). (See above chart)
Experiencing a financial hardship directly or indirectly due to the COVID-19 outbreak that threatens the household’s ability to pay the costs of the rental property when due.
At risk of experiencing homelessness or currently experiencing housing instability.
 The following households are a priority:
Income at or below 50% Area Median Income (AMI).
Households with one or more individuals who are unemployed and have been unemployed for 90 days before application date.
United States citizenship is NOT an eligibility requirement of this program.
Allowable Types of Assistance
Households can receive up to 12 months of financial assistance.  Financial assistance can include a combination of rent and utility arrears, current rent and utility payments, future rent payments, and other housing costs related directly or indirectly to COVID-19.
Rent arrears are when any rent payment is missed or past due, including when the current month’s rent is past due. Assistance cannot be provided for arrears that were accrued before March 13, 2020.
Future rent is the rent after the current month and can be made up to three months at a time.
Households can receive assistance with future rent only, if the household does not have rental arrears and/or the provider has already assisted the household with rental arrears.
An additional three months of rent assistance can be provided if the household reapplies and is still experiencing housing instability, and has not already received the maximum amount of assistance (15 months).
After 12 months of assistance has been provided, households can receive an additional three months of financial assistance, totaling 15 months, if necessary, to ensure housing stability.
Utilities and home energy costs are separately stated charges related to the occupancy of rental property. They can include electricity, gas, water and sewer, trash removal and energy costs, such as fuel oil. Utilities that are covered by the landlord within rent will be treated as rent. Utility only payments are allowable. Future utility payments are not allowable.  All payments for utilities and home energy costs should be supported by a bill, invoice, or evidence of payment to the provider of the utility or home energy service.
To qualify, applicants must provide verification of address, income, a current rent agreement, and an explanation as to how the household has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The property owner must also verify accuracy for rent assistance, and the appropriate utility company must verify if financial support for utilities is requested and accept payment.
“In the first five weeks we have supported 93 households with just over $354,000 in rent assistance to local residents with funding made available through the Treasury Rent Assistance Program. The need in our region is great, and we’re pleased to be able to offer this program to support those who are struggling to pay rent and relief for the property owners,” explained Chelan Douglas Community Action Council Executive Director Alan Walker.
Several regional non-profit organizations are again supporting the effort, including Hand In Hand Immigration Services, Community for the Advancement of Family Education (CAFE), and Children’s Home Society of Washington.
To apply, contact the Chelan-Douglas Community Action Council office at (509) 662-6156 to schedule an appointment and ask for “Rent Assistance.”
This project was supported by a grant awarded by US Department of the Treasury. Points of view do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of the Treasury. Grant funds are administered by the local government Coronavirus Relief Fund through the Washington State Department of Commerce.

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