EVERETT – The main nonprofit that distributes rental assistance for Snohomish County is no longer accepting applications.
It’s unclear when people will be able to start asking for money again.
“We need to allocate about $30 million, at least, to serve those we have already enrolled,” said Galina Volchkova, senior director of housing services at Volunteers of America. “We have thousands of clients registered with the program, waiting for help.”
VOA believes it has enough funds to help the approximately 3,400 households it has registered. It stopped accepting new applications on March 1. Payments are expected to reach owners before the end of May. In total, the association has provided rental assistance to 13,000 households since the start of the pandemic.
“We need to stop screening and focus on those who are on the current schedule,” Volchkova said. “…If someone is eligible, we don’t have a specific limit on how much to pay. We don’t know how much the 3,400 households will ultimately receive.
The Snohomish County Department of Social Services expects an additional $20 million to $21 million for housing assistance. However, the county won’t know the exact amount until it finalizes a contract with the state Department of Commerce.
In the meantime, tenants who receive an eviction notice are eligible for more funding and programs, Volchkova said, and should still call 211. The 14-day notice to pay or vacate is important to mention to the referral specialist. who responds, Volchkova said.
The 211 referral specialist can help people find a mediator through the eviction resolution pilot program. Mediators can help tenants work out a payment plan or access legal services. The Coordinated Entry Homelessness Prevention Program also has money to help people in this situation, Volchkova said.
Katie Hayes is a member of the Report for America body and writes about issues affecting the working class for the Daily Herald.