Rental Assistance

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Program Information

Pierce County Human Services anticipates a new rental assistance program opening towards the end of February 2021. Due to federal requirements and eligibility criteria, all residents must reapply for rental assistance – even if you received rental assistance from us in the past.

The purpose of the Rental Assistance program is to prevent eviction for Pierce County residents (including those living in the City of Tacoma) impacted by COVID-19 who are behind on rent. Applicants must qualify as low-income at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI), but priority will be given to those under 50% AMI. Assistance with utilities, garbage and internet is also available for those behind on payments.

Landlords will be able to pre-register soon. Renters will be able to apply March 8.

We anticipate the application will open towards the end of February, but there are documents and information you can start collecting now to prepare for submission. Additional information may need to be collected by the provider upon intake to determine eligibility, but before you start the application you should have:

  • Household information, including birthdays, for all household members
  • Income verification for all household members for each income source 
    • 2020 tax return for entire household OR household W-2's
    • Unemployment statements
    • Alimony, child support, disability, retirement or VA benefits
    • Current or past pay stubs
  • COVID impact documentation
    • Proof of unemployment
    • Loss of wages
    • Loss of job
    • Unexpected increase in costs of childcare, etc.
  • Landlord name, email and phone number
  • Copy of lease or rental agreement
  • Statement from landlord with past due balance
  • If you're requesting utility assistance, provide copies of past due utility bills
    • Utilities paid directly to your landlord will need to be included in the rent past due amount and a payment wil be made to the landlord directly.

Additional information about the upcoming rental assistance program:

  • Submission of a rental Assistance application is NOT a guarantee of payment. Once your completed application is submitted, it will be referred to a provider and reviewed for eligibility. Providers will contact the household to verify any information and to collect any missing documentation. They must also speak with your landlord to submit payment to them directly. Pierce County Human Services does not issue payment on behalf of program participants. Funding is not available to help every household in need. Tenant eligibility does not guarantee that they will receive assistance.

  • Rent must be in arrears for application submission and program enrollment. This means any rent payments that SHOULD HAVE ALREADY BEEN PAID in the past, that are currently due (i.e. late) to your landlord or property manager. This rental assistance cannot be used to pay FUTURE RENT.  We know the state and federal government allow for future payments, however this County does not.

  • Payments are made directly to landlords only and must be sent to the landlords’ legal address.   

  • Rental Assistance paid on behalf of eligible households does not need to be paid back. This is not a loan program.

  • Tenants must CURRENTLY BE LIVING in the unit to be eligible for this program.

  • This is a rental assistance program to avoid eviction. This program does not pay mortgage assistance, move in costs, moving costs, housing relocation costs, or hotel/motel fees. This program is for Pierce County residents impacted by COVID-19.

About the Eviction Moratorium

The eviction moratorium has been extended through March 2021. 

  • You still must pay rent eventually. 
  • Under the eviction moratorium, landlords can't increase residential rents and are expected to offer tenants a repayment plan. Landlords also can't charge late fees under the moratorium. 
  • People can still be evicted for other reasons, such as property damage or criminal behavior.
  • You cannot be evicted during the crisis unless you are causing a threat, or your landlord wants to sell or move into the property.
  • The proclamation bans retaliation against tenants and creates a legal defense for tenant lawsuits.

Pierce County residents at risk of eviction due to non-payment of rent are eligible for free resolution services. Whether it’s creating a payment plan, leaving an eviction filing off your record or extending your due date to help you get on your feet, the Eviction Resolution Program has specialists to help find solutions that work for both the tenant and landlord. Easily apply online.

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Additional Resources:


    Rental Assistance Team