Thurston County Creates Eviction Rent Assistance Program

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The Thurston County Board of Commissioners approved a contract this week with the Community Action Council of Lewis Mason and Thurston Counties (CAC) to manage the Eviction Rent Assistance Program (ERAP) for Thurston County renters.

The funding, totaling $3,183,179.00, for the program is funded by the CARES Act and managed by Washington State Department of Commerce. It must be spent by Dec. 31, 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is putting our most vulnerable community members at even greater risk for severe illness and homelessness,” said Thurston County Board of Health Chair Tye Menser. “It’s incredibly important for these funds to reach those who could become homeless if evicted and prevent evictions from occurring.”

According to Thurston County, renters must be at 50 percent or below the area median income, have at least one month rent unpaid or partially paid since March, and be experiencing at least one risk factor from a list developed by Washington State Department of Commerce to qualify. The program may cover up to three months of missed rent payments.

The Community Action Council expects to begin accepting applications on Aug. 24, but notes that with high demand for the program, the process could take time.

“We have full confidence in the ability of CAC, working with its partners, to implement this important program,” said Tom Webster, Manager of Thurston County Office of Housing and Homeless Prevention. “We expect a rush of interest from residents to apply for these funds and urge applicants to be patient as the program ramps up.”

A separate program for young adults (ages 18-24) with unpaid or partially paid rent since March 2020 is expected to be managed through Community Youth Services (CYS). CYS submitted its application for $360,000 to Washington State Department of Commerce’s Office of Homeless Youth.

For more information, go to www.commerce.wa.gov/serving-communities/homelessness, contact the Community Action Council of Lewis Mason and Thurston Counties at (360) 438-1100 or ERAP@caclmt.org, or contact Community Youth Services at (360) 943-0780

or communityyouthservices.org.

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