43.185C.180  <<  43.185C.185 >>   43.185C.190

Eviction prevention rental assistance program.

(1) The eviction prevention rental assistance program is created in the department to prevent evictions by providing resources to households most likely to become homeless or suffer severe health consequences, or both, after an eviction, while promoting equity by prioritizing households, including communities of color, disproportionately impacted by public health emergencies and by homelessness and housing instability. The department must provide grants to eligible organizations, as described in RCW 43.185.060, to provide assistance to program participants. The eligible organizations must use grant moneys for:
(a) Rental assistance, including rental arrears and future rent if needed to stabilize the applicant's housing and prevent their eviction;
(b) Utility assistance for households if needed to prevent an eviction; and
(c) Administrative costs of the eligible organization, which must not exceed limits prescribed by the department.
(2) Households eligible to receive assistance through the eviction prevention rental assistance program are those:
(a) With incomes at or below 80 percent of the county area median income;
(b) Who are families with children, living in doubled up situations, young adults, senior citizens, and others at risk of homelessness or significant physical or behavioral health complications from homelessness; and
(c) That meet any other eligibility requirements as established by the department after consultation with stakeholder groups, including persons at risk of homelessness due to unpaid rent, representatives of communities of color, homeless service providers, landlord representatives, local governments that administer homelessness assistance, a statewide association representing cities, a statewide association representing counties, a representative of homeless youth and young adults, and affordable housing advocates.
(3) A landlord may assist an eligible household in applying for assistance through the eviction prevention rental assistance program or may apply for assistance on an eligible household's behalf.
(4)(a) Eligible grantees must actively work with organizations rooted in communities of color to assist and serve marginalized populations within their communities.
(b) At least 10 percent of the grant total must be subgranted to organizations that serve and are substantially governed by marginalized populations to pay the costs associated with program outreach, assistance completing applications for assistance, rent assistance payments, activities that directly support the goal of improving access to rent assistance for people of color, and related costs. Upon request by an eligible grantee or the county or city in which it exists, the department must provide a list of organizations that serve and are substantially governed by marginalized populations, if known.
(c) An eligible grantee may request an exemption from the department from the requirements under (b) of this subsection. The department must consult with the stakeholder group established under subsection (2)(c) of this section before granting an exemption. An eligible grantee may request an exemption only if the eligible grantee:
(i) Is unable to subgrant with an organization that serves and is substantially governed by marginalized populations; or
(ii) Provides the department with a plan to spend 10 percent of the grant total in a manner that the department determines will improve racial equity for historically underserved communities more effectively than a subgrant.
(5) The department must ensure equity by developing performance measures and benchmarks that promote both equitable program access and equitable program outcomes. Performance measures and benchmarks must be developed by the department in consultation with stakeholder groups, including persons at risk of homelessness due to unpaid rent, representatives of communities of color, homeless service providers, landlord representatives, local governments that administer homelessness assistance, a statewide association representing cities, a statewide association representing counties, a representative of homeless youth and young adults, and affordable housing advocates. Performance measures and benchmarks must also ensure that the race and ethnicity of households served under the program are proportional to the numbers of people at risk of homelessness in each county for each of the following groups:
(a) Black or African American;
(b) American Indian and Alaska Native;
(c) Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander;
(d) Hispanic or Latinx;
(e) Asian;
(f) Other multiracial.
(6) The department may develop additional rules, requirements, procedures, and guidelines as necessary to implement and operate the eviction prevention rental assistance program.
(7)(a) The department must award funds under this section to eligible grantees in a manner that is proportional to the amount of revenue collected under RCW 36.22.176 from the county being served by the grantee.
(b) The department must provide counties with the right of first refusal to receive grant funds distributed under this subsection. If a county refuses the funds or does not respond within a time frame established by the department, the department must identify an alternative grantee. The alternative grantee must distribute the funds in a manner that is in compliance with this chapter.

NOTES:

FindingsIntentDepartment of commerce and William D. Ruckelshaus center examination of homelessnessReports2021 c 214: See note following RCW 36.22.176.
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