Packed In: SNAP sees rise in rental assistance applicants, encourages more amid eviction uncertainty

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — Even with a new moratorium in the works, there’s still so much uncertainty surrounding housing options.

The rush to make rent during this housing crisis has more people reaching out for help than ever before.

In the last few days, SNAP has received 40 new applicants for rental assistance and even more clients calling in to make appointments.

4 News Now spoke with Carol Weltz, the Director of Community Action at SNAP about this increase.

She says the eviction moratorium ending wasn’t a surprise to most clients, but it did make them nervous.

The pandemic already has people struggling to pay bills alone.

Now rent is back in the equation — and for some — it’s higher than it was before.

“This isn’t something anybody did wrong,” said Weltz. “It’s a structure problem that happened in our society. People can be apprehensive asking for help, but really, that’s what these funds are for.”

SNAP says there’s plenty of it. You need only apply, and there are different ways you can do it.

As long as you live in Spokane County, but not the City of Spokane, as well as make 80% or less of the area median income, you’re on track to qualifying.

It’s also good to know that SNAP’s rental assistance pays for past and future rent, up to 12 months of it.

All you need to do to get started is call them at (509) 456-SNAP (7627) or use the self service portal on their website.

If you’re worried about delays in funding, SNAP says this was more of a problem at the peak of the pandemic and the rental assistance program.

There was a limited staff and high demand.

“It comes out pretty quickly and we’ll communicate with both the landlord and the person needing the help,” said Weltz.

For more information, see SNAP’s official website.

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