King County To Close Rental Assistance Applications, Citing Funds

KING COUNTY, WA — King County will stop accepting new applications for its Eviction Prevention and Rent Assitance Program (EPRAP) at the end of the month, as officials anticipate existing funds will not be sufficient to cover all the households in need, officials announced Monday.

According to the Department of Community & Human Services, King County has processed nearly 40,000 applications since the program began early in the pandemic and has out more than $244 million to help keep renters housed and landlords paid.

Leo Flor, the DCHS director, said his agency did not have enough state and federal funds to keep up with the level of need and the county would need to hit pause on new applicants as it worked to secure additional money.

“For the last three months, the EPRAP program has exceeded expenditure goals, routinely expending $30-$40M per month,” Flor wrote. “Based on the current average assistance amount of about $11,300 per household, we are paying rent for nearly 3,500 households per month. Unfortunately, with this rate of expenditure we can now forecast with relative certainty when King County will exhaust the rent assistance funds available to us. At the same time, we recognize there is still a staggering amount of need in our community.”

Flor said the state plans to provide another $66.5 million for the program, which will help meet the needs of thousands of applicants, but more money will be needed to reach every household seeking aid. DCHS estimates 11,245 households have been assigned rental assistance providers, with almost 11,000 others pre-registered and awaiting a provider. The county will use any new funding to move those applications forward before reopening the portal.

The tenant portal will continue to accept new applications through Feb. 28 — the same day Seattle’s eviction moratorium expires.

Residents can learn more about the EPRAP program on the King County website.

Source: Bellevue Patch