HB 1368 Covid Rental Assistance

Posted By: Alex Robertson Advocacy , Legislative Session , COVID-19 , Rental Assistance ,

2020 was a difficult year for housing providers and tenants alike. Housing providers operations were severely limited with the Governor’s moratorium. Housing providers found themselves unable to collect on past due rent, and many tenants found themselves many months behind in rent.

Late in 2020, the CARES Act helped to alleviate some of the growing rental debt. There were not enough funds to cover the growing rental debt and with the vague requirements by Department of Commerce, many counties attached so many strings that it didn’t make sense for housing providers to apply.

With SB 5160 and HB 1368 both passing, there is now more money available. And the money will be accessible through the rest of 2021.

A total of $365 million was allotted in HB 1368, allocated in the following ways:

  • $325,000,000 to counties to distribute to housing providers
  • $30,000,000 for the DoC to administer the funds
  • $4,000,000 to be available for homeowners in danger of foreclosure
  • $1,000,000 to contract with the Attorney General’s office for legal work
  • $2,000,000 for housing providers with tenants who do not qualify for rental assistance, or do not apply.

For more information on each county’s distribution of the available funds, please check our covid rental assistance page here: https://www.rhawa.org/covid-rental-assistance

SB 5160 also expands the Landlord Mitigation Program, distributed by the Department of Commerce.

The Landlord Mitigation Program is expanded to allow the following:

  • Tenants not on low-income subsidized housing can now apply if they have been impacted by covid.
  • The program can now cover up to $15,000 in past due rent

If a county has run out of HB 1368 money to distribute, or a tenant is otherwise ineligible, a housing provider may apply to the LMP here: https://www.commerce.wa.gov/serving-communities/homelessness/landlord-fund-programs/landlord-mitigation-program/