City of Spokane awarded $6 million for people struggling to pay rent

SPOKANE, Wash. — Some much-needed help is now available for people struggling to pay rent. The U.S. Treasury has awarded the City of Spokane $6 million in emergency rental assistance.

Several agencies will disperse the money including Family Promise of Spokane, the Carl Maxey Center and LiveStories. Each organization has specific qualifications applicants must fit in order to be eligible.

“This emergency rental assistance money is going to be significant for a lot of people to keep in their housing so they don’t end up on the streets,” said Joe Ader, Executive Director of Family Promise of Spokane.

This money comes on the heels of Washington’s eviction mortarium expiring, which is supposed to happen on June 30. In the United States, one in five renters are behind on paying their landlord.

“There are people that are really anxious for when the eviction moratorium runs out at the end of the month so we’re trying to get funds distributed as quickly as possible,” Ader said.

In order to initially qualify, you must be eligible for unemployment or experienced a decrease in income and incurred significant costs or experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic.

“They currently have to be at risk of eviction or instability when the eviction moratorium runs out,” Ader said.

Your income also needs to be at or below 80% of the area’s median income and you must live within the City of Spokane boundaries.

Ader said his organization is getting $2.2 million, which will help about 1,000 families. People can apply for up to 12 months of assistance, though it depends on how much is owed.

“This is an effective way to use these funds to prevent future worse outcomes for our community,” he explained. “Even now if they’re back to work they are back so far on rent from last year and the hold ups from last year that they’re still trying to catch up.”

The Family Promise of Spokane assists households with children and provides help to families so they do not end up homeless. At the Carl Maxey Center, money is prioritized to Black and BIPOC homes in the City of Spokane. Money is available to people for past due, current and future rent, plus utilities.

Anyone living in Spokane is allowed to apply through LiveStories, and the money is intended for people who have been impacted by the pandemic.

Funding is also available for landlords to get money for residents for rental assistance.

Ader said they will give out the money until nothing is left from their portion.

You can go here to fill out an application.