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 If you are a tenant, view the tenant page or download information in language: 

 Download All: EPRAP_Translations_8-19-2020 

 Download by language: AmharicArabicBurmese, Chinese Simplified, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Oromo, Punjabi, Russian, Samoan, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tigrinya, Ukrainian, Vietnamese

Program Overview:

The Small Landlord Fund assists landlords with nine or fewer tenants who have one month of rent not paid or partially unpaid since March 1, 2020. Small landlords with properties in King County are eligible. The funding is awarded by a lottery.

If selected in the lottery, the landlord must share the contact information of tenant(s) behind in rent with the nonprofit agency participating in the program. Tenants will be screened to determine their eligibility and landlords will be paid in bulk for each eligible tenant, so long as the landlord agrees to the landlord conditions.

If you are interested in being entered into the lottery:

Fill out the  Interested Small Landlords form 

The lottery will launch on September 14, 2020. 

If selected by this lottery, a nonprofit agency will contact the landlord for tenant(s) contact information. The tenant(s) will be screened to determine if they meet the eligibility requirements.

Tenant Eligibility

Landlord is not expected to know if the tenant meets these eligibility requirements, other than the tenant being behind in rent.

Tenants must meet BOTH of the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Income is at or below 50% of the Area Median Income over the past 60 days; and

  2. At least one month of rent is not paid or partially unpaid since March 1, 2020.

In addition, tenants must meet ONE or more of the following requirements.

  1. Rent burdened: 50% or more of current monthly income is needed to pay rent.

  2. Previously homeless within last five years; includes experiences of couch surfing/doubled up.

  3. Eviction history within last seven years.

  4. Housing disrupted due to household member race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion.

  5. At risk of severe illness as per the Centers for Disease Control: 62 years old or older, underlying health condition.

  6. Disability of any household member. Includes a physical, developmental, mental, or emotional impairment, including impairment caused by alcohol or drug abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, or brain injury. A person with HIV/AIDS is considered disabled.

In addition to tenant eligibility, participating landlords must agree to:

  1. Accept three months of rental assistance on behalf of the participating tenant at the lesser of either: (a) 80% of the otherwise applicable total rent for three months; or (b) fair market rent for the three months. Any rental debt owed by the tenant for more than the three months must be forgiven. If rental debt is less than three months, assistance may be paid for past due and future rent up to three months not to extend beyond December 2020.
  2. Not terminate or refuse to renew the participating tenant’s tenancy absent good-cause until March 31, 2021.
  3. Not raise rent on current tenant(s) served by this program until March 31, 2021.
    • Tenancies using Section 8 vouchers are exempted from the "no rent increases" conditions if the rent increase is based on an increase in the tenant's income.

 Do not fill out the interest form more than once.

Do not fill out this form if you do not agree to the landlord conditions.

FUNDING IS NOT AVAILABLE TO HELP EVERY TENANT IN NEED.

TENANT ELIGIBILITY DOES NOT GUARANTEE THAT THEY WILL RECEIVE ASSISTANCE.

Questions? Contact: CommerceRAgrant@kingcounty.gov

Additional Info and Updates

KEY PROGRAM CHANGES:

The King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) received over 280 comments from individuals, non-profit organizations, and businesses during the public comment period. A significant number of comments came from tenants and landlords expressing interest in the program and requesting additional information, which staff provided them. As a result of public comments received, the DCHS will make the following EPRAP program design changes:

  • Expanding eligibility for the small landlord lottery countywide
  • Expanding eligibility for the Large Residential Landlord Fund to include:
    • zip codes with high COVID-19 incidence (added 98001 and 98134) and
    • publicly-subsidized affordable housing located in any zip code, that has public funding, tax credits, or is an income-restricted Multi-Family Tax Exemption (MFTE) building.
  • Exempting tenancies using Section 8 vouchers from the “no rent increases” conditions if the rent increase is based on an increase in the tenant’s income.
  • Expanded languages to include five additional languages now providing outreach and assistance in 25 instead of 20 languages (adding Marshallese, Dari, Hmong, Lao, Thai, and French).

DCHS will update the EPRAP program website and materials by close of business on Friday, September 4 to reflect these changes. In addition, DCHS prepared the following list of frequently asked questions to clarify program requirements and design.

TENANT FAQ

  1. I am a tenant seeking assistance. How do I learn more about the program? How do I get in the lottery?
    • Please see the tenant information page for more information and use this form to enter the lottery. The first lottery draw will be on September 14, 2020 and will continue on a weekly basis until the funds run out. Tenants will receive an email every Friday updating them if they were not selected in the lottery. Tenants do not need to do anything further after submitting their interest in the lottery unless they are contacted to fill out an application.
  2. Why is the County using a lottery-based system? Why do tenants get to re-enter the lottery each week if they aren’t selected?
    • King County estimates nearly 60,000 households will be in need of these rental assistance resources, but the funding will only serve 10,000 households. In order to prevent only serving tenants with the fewest barriers, King County decided to use a lottery-based approach instead of a first-come, first-serve approach.

       

    • The County will conduct the tenant and small landlord lottery on a weekly basis starting September 14, 2020. The weekly lottery system is designed to increase access for tenants with higher barriers to receiving assistance and help adjust the program to the capacity of the County and its partners to distribute funds. Tenants with the highest barriers, who might not learn about this opportunity for several more weeks, will still have an opportunity to participate in the lottery, up until resources are exhausted. This process will also prevent backlog – the number of tenants pulled from the lottery each week will be based on the capacity of nonprofit agencies processing applications, so once tenants submit an application, they should hear back within two weeks instead of months. In addition, tenants not selected in the lottery will remain in the lottery each week to prevent dramatic fluctuations in the lottery pool size from week to week. King County will contract with community-based organizations to overcome technological and language barriers to get as many eligible tenants into the lottery as possible.
  3. How will language and technology barriers be addressed?
    • King County will contract with community-based organizations to support tenants with language and technology barriers to ensure they can access the lottery. Tenants will be able to call these organizations to get submitted into the lottery if they do not have computer or internet access. King County has translated materials into: Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Chinese Simplified, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Oromo, Punjabi, Russian, Samoan, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tigrinya, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese. Based on community feedback, King County will add the following languages: Marshallese, Dari, Hmong, Lao, Thai, and French. King County will contract with community-based organizations with these language abilities to further support tenants in the process.

       

  4. Do tenants need to provide documentation to prove their eligibility?
    • Once selected through a landlord-based fund or lottery, tenants will independently, or with community-based organization assistance, complete an application that includes questions about their income and sources of income. If a tenant does not have documents to prove their income, they may self-certify their income. Nonprofit agencies contracted under this program will ask landlords for proof of the rent owed and lease agreement, so tenants do not need to provide any documentation regarding their rent or lease. Tenants will not be asked for any documents to prove the secondary eligibility criteria.

       

  5. Does the tenant have to ask their landlord if the landlord will agree to conditions? Who does this?
    • Tenants do not need to ask their landlords if they will agree to the landlord conditions. After a tenant has been found to be eligible by a nonprofit agency, the nonprofit agency will contact the landlord to discuss the program and get their agreement. If tenants feel comfortable, alerting their landlord to the program once the tenant is selected from the lottery might help ensure applications are processed quicker, but it is not necessary. If the landlord does not accept the conditions, the tenant will not be served.
  6. How will the landlord conditions be enforced?
    • Landlords will sign an agreement stating they agree to the landlord conditions and that the tenant has been made current in rent. This agreement can be enforced in court by the tenant if necessary.
  7. Are only tenants in certain zip codes eligible?
    • All tenants who reside in King County in any zip code can participate in the Tenant Lottery if they meet the criteria described below. The zip code filtering only applies to private landlords applying through the Large Residential Landlord fund who do not manage a subsidized affordable housing property.
      1. Tenants must meet BOTH of the following eligibility requirements:
        1. Income is at or below 50% of the Area Median Income over the past 60 days; and
        2. At least one month of rent is not paid or partially unpaid since March 1, 2020. 
      2. In addition, tenants must meet ONE or more of the following requirements.
        1. Rent burdened: 50% or more of current monthly income is needed to pay rent.
        2. Previously homeless within last five years; includes experiences of couch surfing/doubled up.
        3. Eviction history within last seven years.
        4. Housing disrupted due to household member race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion.
        5. At risk of severe illness as per the Centers for Disease Control: 62 years old or older, underlying health condition.
        6. Disability of any household member. Includes a physical, developmental, mental, or emotional impairment, including impairment caused by alcohol or drug abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, or brain injury. A person with HIV/AIDS is considered disabled.
  8. How is “high-need zip code” defined? Does this measure the impact of the pandemic on essential workers?
    • The high-need zip code criteria only impacts large residential landlords without any public subsidy or tax credit who want to be paid in bulk. DCHS initially defined high-need zip codes as the top 20% of zip codes with the highest rate of continuing unemployment claims per capita or the top 20% of zip codes with the highest rate of COVID-19 deaths per capita. To ensure King County captures all the areas disproportionately affected by COVID-19, the rate of COVID-19 incidence per capita is being added as well. The high-need zip codes are: These zip codes are: 98002, 98003, 98008, 98011, 98027, 98030, 98031, 98032, 98034, 98047, 98050, 98051, 98053, 98055, 98057, 98058, 98101, 98104, 98106, 98108, 98118, 98126, 98146, 98148, 98168, 98178, 98188, 98198, with the additions of 98001 and 98134.

       

  9. Please clarify what 50% AMI over the past 60 days means for different household sizes.
    • Over the past 60 days, your income must have been at or below the following, based on your household size:

       

      Number of People in Household

      Income over the past 60 days

      1

      $6,871.23

      2

      $7,857.53

      3

      $8,835.62

      4

      $9,813.70

      5

      $10,602.74

      6

      $11,391.78

      7

      $12,172.60

      8

      $12,961.64

       

  10. Will payments be made to the tenant or to the landlord?
  • All payments will be made directly to the landlord, not the tenant. Landlords will be required to sign a contract agreeing to the terms of the program for every tenant served in the program. Tenants will receive a copy of this agreement. Paying tenants directly would be difficult with the constraints on the funding. In addition, it would not be possible to require landlords to agree to the landlord conditions if they were not paid directly.

 

LANDLORD FAQ

  1. Why is the payment standard set at 80% of rent or Fair Market Rent, whichever is less and excess rental debt waived? Can the County re-evaluate this to cover more of the debt owed to landlords? Are landlords required to waive potential future debt or only debt incurred before receiving EPRAP assistance?
    • The goal of this program is to keep tenants housed. Given that the need is far greater than the resources available, King County needs to spread out these limited resources as much as possible. The current payment standard will serve more tenants than if the full rental debt was covered. Waiving rental debt beyond three months will bring tenants current so they can focus on future rent payments and stay housed. The requirement to waive rent is only on past debt, so rental debt accumulated after the tenant has been served by the EPRAP program does not have to be waived as a condition of this current program. While some landlords requested being allowed to impose payment plans or seek other forms of rental assistance for the remainder, tenants would still be at risk of eviction. This is the largest rental assistance program, so it is unlikely most tenants would be able to find additional rental assistance. Given the uncertainty in our economy, payment plans would not likely help many tenants stay housed.
  2. Can landlords choose to accept EPRAP for some tenants and refuse for others?
    • If landlords want to participate in the bulk payment options, either the Large Residential Landlord Fund, the Manufactured Home Park Fund, or the Small Landlord Lottery, they must accept payment for all eligible tenants on the property submitted to the fund. Tenants selected in the Tenant Lottery will be screened individually, so landlords may accept some tenants from the Tenant Lottery and refuse others.

       

  3. Please clarify the small and large landlord definitions.
    • For the purposes of these funds, “small landlord” means the landlord has 9 or fewer tenants behind in rent, regardless of building type. A “large landlord” means the landlord has 10 or more tenants behind in rent. For the large landlord fund, landlords will still need to submit the different properties separately. Separating landlords in this manner will help us determine what nonprofits to send the landlord to for application processing based on the nonprofit agency capacity.

       

  4. Are Section 8 voucher holders / project-based Section 8 voucher holders exempted from the 'no rent increase' requirement?
    • Landlords may not raise rent on a tenant until March 31, 2021 unless a Section 8 voucher recipient’s rent increase is based on increases in the tenant’s income. The limitation on rent increases applies to every other tenant, including other affordable housing tenants whose rent is determined by the Area Median Income, not their individual income.
  5. Can landlords apply to this fund to resolve back-debt from tenants who have already moved out? How about apply for these funds for vacant units? Mortgage payments? Commercial rent?
    • No. The purpose of the Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Program is to prevent evictions of renters and these uses would not serve that purpose. Further, the Department of Commerce has responded to a similar question in its FAQ that their program, which represents the bulk of the EPRAP funds, “is only to assist people who are current residents with a rent obligation.”
  6. The requirements state that landlords must agree to “not terminate or refuse to renew the participating tenant’s tenancy absent good-cause until March 31, 2021.” How is good cause defined?
    • Good cause is defined as:
      1. A household member materially violates the terms of the lease (including, among other reasons, nonpayment of rent after the tenant is served by the program)
      2. A household member is creating a significant and immediate risk to the health, safety, or property of others; or
      3. At least 60 days’ written termination notice is provided to the household based on the Landlords intent to (i) personally occupy the premises as a primary residence, or (ii) sell the property.

        A participating landlord may only terminate or refuse to renew a tenancy for one of the above reasons until March 31, 2021. The landlord agreement does not supersede local or state laws or orders that provide tenants further protections.

  7. What is fair market rent?
    • Fair Market Rent is determined annually by HUD.

       

      King County 2020 Fair Market Rent

      Efficiency

      One-Bedroom

      Two-Bedroom

      Three-Bedroom

      Four-Bedroom

      $1,627

      $1,741

      $2,099

      $2,993

      $3,524

       

  8. I am a small landlord seeking assistance. How do I learn more about the program? How do I get in the lottery?
  9. Are landlords required to collect eligibility information from tenants?
    • No. Landlords only need know that the tenant is behind in rent and decide whether or not they will accept the landlord conditions. Nonprofit agencies will be the only group screening tenants for eligibility. If a tenant is not eligible for the program, the landlord will not be told the reason.
  10. Can the County expand small landlord eligibility to all zip codes?
    • Based on community feedback, King County will remove the zip code requirement from the Small Landlord eligibility criteria. Any King County small landlord interested in having all their tenants behind in rent being screened for the EPRAP program may submit their interest to participate in the lottery. Rental units must be located in King County; properties located outside of King County are not eligible for screening.

       

  11. Please clarify the large landlord fund requirements. Are only properties in certain zip codes eligible? What about Low Income Housing Tax Credit properties? What about other affordable housing properties?
    • Based on community feedback, King County is both clarifying and expanding the criteria for the Large Residential Landlord Fund. Properties eligible for the Large Residential Landlord Fund, where landlords are paid in bulk for eligible tenants, must meet ONE of the following criteria:
      1. Publicly-subsidized affordable housing located in any zip code, that has public funding, tax credits, or is an income-restricted MFTE building OR
      2. Landlords with 10 or more tenants behind located in one of the high-need zip codes (noted below).

King County will verify landlords meet one of the above criteria. High need zip codes are being expanded and will be defined as the zip codes in the top twenty percent of zip codes with continued unemployment claims per capita, the zip codes in the top 20 percent of COVID-19 deaths per capita, OR the zip codes in the top 20 percent of COVID incidence rate per capita. These zip codes are: 98002, 98003, 98008, 98011, 98027, 98030, 98031, 98032, 98034, 98047, 98050, 98051, 98053, 98055, 98057, 98058, 98101, 98104, 98106, 98108, 98118, 98126, 98146, 98148, 98168, 98178, 98188, 98198, with the additions of 98001 and 98134.

Because of the interest from large landlords, King County will collect interest from large landlords interested in this program who do not meet the current criteria [link to another interest form]. If funding allows, King County will contact these landlords.

NON-PROFIT FAQ

  1. Can you extend the deadline past December 30, 2020?
    • The source of funding for the majority of this program is federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds. As those funds must be expended by December 30, 2020, the County cannot extend the deadline.
  2. Why isn’t the County just granting the money directly to community-based organizations to deploy?
Federal law creates several requirements of the main funding used for EPRAP that drove this decision - preventing duplication of benefits (paying more than once for the same thing, such as paying a landlord twice for August rent for the same household), reimbursing costs rather than granting funds, and setting a December 30, 2020 deadline for spending the funds. Operating a centralized system will prevent duplication of benefits by allowing the County to monitor who is being served and it will also avoid confusion for tenants who may otherwise simultaneously apply to several non-profit organizations for funding. In addition, as the funds used for this program are issued by the federal and state governments on a cost-reimbursable basis, King County is unable to grant funding. Finally, other states and counties that did not create a centralized process ended up overwhelming nonprofits with applications and experienced a significant backlog. King County is drawing tenants from the lottery based on nonprofit agency capacity, preventing backlog and allowing the County to assess overall progress in spending the funds ahead of the deadline.

Starting in March 2020, households across our region and across the country will have the opportunity to participate in the 2020 Census. Your participation matters. Learn how you can promote a fair and accurate census at kingcounty.gov/census.

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