United Way program to help King County renters who’ve lost their income

SEATTLE — Help is on the way for some people who are struggling to pay rent after losing their jobs during the coronavirus outbreak.

United Way teamed up with King County and the City of Seattle to announce rental assistance for all King County residents.

A $5 million initial investment of public and private funds is going toward the United Way’s Home Base program, which has been expanded to help those in King County who are struggling to pay rent while the coronavirus crisis continues.

The money will go into United Way’s Community Relief Fund. It is estimated the fund will help up to 2,000 families stay in their homes.

United Way said he program will help King County residents who are late on their rent, have had a significant loss in wages as a result of the coronavirus crisis, and whose income is at or below 50% of Area Median Income (AMI).

“Providing rental assistance now, before tenants accumulate months of debt and back rent, will be more economical than waiting until tenants receive eviction notices,” United Way said in a news release.

King County residents who need rental help will be able to access the funds by calling 211 or completing an application online. Translation services will be available through 211.

The expanded Home Base program will be funded by $1.5 million from King County, a $1 million from the City of Seattle, and a $1.5 million grant from money raised by the Seattle Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund. The rest of the funds will come from Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon and WaFd Bank and AT&T, as well as individual donors.

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