On June 29, 2021 Gov. Jay Inslee issued a housing stability ‘bridge’ emergency order, Proclamation 21-09, intended to ‘bridge’ the gap between the eviction moratorium and the new protections and programs enacted by the State Legislature.
What does this means for renters and landlords?
Until there is an operational Eviction Resolution Program in Skagit County, eviction for non-payment of past due rent is not permitted. However, by August 1st, tenants must either begin paying full rent, negotiate a plan with their landlord to catch up on past due rent or apply for funds with a local rental assistance program. Public Health strongly encourages tenants to stay in their homes and housing providers not to proceed with evictions for tenants who owe rent. Tenants who leave will not be eligible for rental assistance and may have difficulty finding a new home. Landlords who evict tenants cannot then collect assistance for the back rent owed by that tenant.
What is the Eviction Resolution Program and when will it be available in Skagit County?
The Eviction Resolution Program engages both landlords, tenants, and their legal counsel to resolve any issues including but not limited to back rent issues that may cause an eviction once the moratorium has expired.
The goal of the program is to ensure landlords and tenants are connected to rent assistance, legal counsel and have an opportunity at mediation or meet and confer to resolve the housing conflicts prior to filing an unlawful detainer which may result in an eviction.
In Skagit County, there is not currently an operational Eviction Resolution Program and we will provide updates as more information becomes available. In the interim, landlords and tenants are encouraged to reach out to and work with their local dispute resolution center (DRC) 425-789-7500 (intake) and email@example.com.
Where can Skagitonians go for assistance if behind on rent?
The Skagit County Rental Assistance Program is currently active and accepting applications for assistance. Funding is available for renters or landlords who have lost income due to COVID-19 and are struggling to pay or collect rent. The program can cover rent up to 150% of Fair market value for past due rent incurred after March 13, 2020, as well as future rent. These funds can also assist with past-due utilities and other housing costs directly or indirectly due to COVID-19.
Renters and landlords who do not qualify for assistance will be referred to the Volunteers of America Landlord-Tenant Program. firstname.lastname@example.org 425-339-1335 ext. 4.
What should landlords do if they have tenants that are behind on rent?