Moratorium on evictions ends soon – The Daily Evergreen

Statewide moratorium on evictions ends this month; The Community Action Center offers a rental assistance program

The Community Action Center is able to provide rent assistance for those in need of assistance as the moratorium on evictions ends this month.

Governor Jay Inslee issued a proclamation September 24 which extended the moratorium until the end of October. The proclamation outlines the standards for landlords to evict tenants, given the continuing pandemic.

Landlords cannot evict tenants who were unable to pay rent between February 29, 2020 and July 31, 2021, unless pilot rent assistance and eviction resolution programs have been put in place. place in their county and that tenants have been informed of these programs, according to the proclamation. Tenants must be notified at least 14 days before receiving an eviction notice.

Rent due after August 1 should be paid.

For tenants who have not paid rent between August 1 and October 31, landlords cannot proceed with an eviction unless the tenant has made full or partial rent payment with a payment plan agreed with its owner, according to the proclamation.

If the tenant has a pending rental assistance request, or the local organization responsible for providing assistance is waiting for more resources, has not opened or is not yet accepting requests, the tenant cannot not receive an eviction notice, according to the proclamation.

Pullman Ward 2 council member Nathan Weller said he was in favor of maintaining the moratorium adopted on October 31 in Pullman.

Business closures and job losses continue to affect the people of Pullman. The town of Pullman must continue to help those in difficulty as best they can, he said.

As a tenant, Weller said he was fortunate to be an employee and to be able to pay his rent.

“Not everyone is so lucky,” he said.

General Councilor Eileen Macoll said she believes the city should end the moratorium at the same time as the governor.

Macoll said as a landlord that she was lucky that her tenants could all continue to pay rent, but many other Pullman moms and moms landlords weren’t so lucky.

The process for applying for rent assistance through the Pullman Community Action Center is relatively easy, she said.

The CAC has a new housing assistance program, which is easier to apply than in the past, said Georgia Beck, interim housing coordinator for the CAC.

The effects of the pandemic have been heartbreaking, Beck said. This past fall and in recent months, many families were behind on rent. Jobs have disappeared, evidenced by income verification in the applications.

“Fortunately there were some of those safety nets for people as well,” Beck said.

Washington wanted to make assistance more accessible to those in need, she said. The state’s emergency rental assistance program has been streamlined to make the application process much easier. Physical signatures are no longer required and the whole process can be done over the phone.

Renters who earn 80% or less of the Whitman County median income are eligible to receive rent assistance, she said.

“Don’t assume that you have exceeded your income because it is a very high cap for these programs. 80 percent is a lot. A person could earn $ 40,500 a year and still qualify, ”Beck said.

The fair market rent price for a one bedroom house in Whitman County is $ 763. The CAC can pay up to 150% of that price, or $ 1,144, she said. If a tenant lives in a one-bedroom house whose rent is over $ 1,144, the CAC can only pay up to that limit.

There are also fair rental prices in the market for larger homes, Beck said. Homes with two, three and more bedrooms have their own fair rental prices, which can also be paid up to 150 percent.

Tenants who wish to apply for rental assistance should contact their landlord or rental company to let them know they are seeking assistance and request their current book and lease, she said. Once the tenant has completed the application process, the CAC will send a payment plan for a signed agreement to the landlord or business.

An individual in a collective lease can also request that his share of the rent be borne by the CAC, she said. Each person on a group lease can apply separately, or they can apply together.

It works differently for families, however. All family members who have an income should be included in the application process, she said.

The best thing for someone in need of help is to call the CAC. They can help pay rent up to three months in advance to help tenants breathe, she said.

“It’s just to give them a little relief and let them know that ‘Hey, it’s going to be okay’ we’re all in the same boat,” Beck said.

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