SNAP will soon be offering Rental Assistance Program amid pandemic

SPOKANE, Wash. – With thousands of layoffs statewide, many families are wondering how they’re going to pay rent.

It’s a scary reality, but there is help.

“Our whole purpose is to serve the emerging needs that are coming up in the community,” said Carol Weltz, Director of Community Action with SNAP.

SNAP offers energy, emergency, and utility assistance year round. Soon, they’ll be offering another resource.

“People are in a very unique position right now. People who would normally be able to pay their bills and their rent on time are in a position where they don’t have that money available,” said Weltz.

Right now, Washingtonians who aren’t able to pay rent cannot be evicted under a state-wide moratorium on evictions. Once that’s lifted, that could change.

In order to avoid that, SNAP has money to help.

“We’ll take money that was normally used for energy assistance and use it to help pay people’s rent,” Weltz said.

Those who qualify will be able to get a one time payment up to $1,000 toward their rent.

“We know how important is for people to be in their homes and to be safe. We want to do everything we can to make sure that people have the ability to do that,” said Weltz.

In the meantime, they’re encouraging people to take advantage of the other help they offer, such as money for energy bills or emergencies.

Currently, SNAP only requires you to show your income from the last month, meaning people who normally wouldn’t qualify, may also be able to get help.

“We want to be mindful of trying to help people along the way so we’re not in worse shape in the end,” said Weltz.

The Rental Assistance Program will not be available until after the state-wide moratorium is lifted. To find out if you’re eligible, SNAP has a list of income guidelines on their website.