City of Ellensburg dedicates $75,000 in CARES funding to rental assistance

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — The City of Ellensburg is working to protect residents struggling to pay rent during the pandemic by offering rental assistance.

At a meeting Monday night, the Ellensburg City Council approved a contract with HopeSource to manage $75,000 of CARES funding to go toward helping community members who are struggling to pay for housing.

“Housing is a really key thing,” spokesperson Margaret Reich said. “People are especially concerned about what happens when the eviction moratorium ends in August.”

For the past several months, landlords in Washington state have been prohibited from evicting tenants who fail to pay rent. When the moratorium expires August 1, those renters who have been unable to pay will not be protected from eviction.

“We’ve got a very high percentage of our population that are renters,” Reich said. “It’s going to be a very tough time for people.”

To be eligible for the rental assistance funds, applicants need to:

  • Have an inability to pay monthly rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Reside within the Ellensburg city limits
  • Have a gross household income at or below 60%  of the city’s median income level
  • Be responsible for the household rent/lease payments
  • Not reside in federally subsidized housing
  • Not misrepresent income, residency or other facts during the application process

Only one person is allowed to apply per household and funds are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants cannot request assistance for more than three months’ rent.

On behalf of the city, HopeSource is accepting online applications at www.hopesource.us/housing.php.

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