Local rent, mortgage assistance effort backed by government grant

Leader news staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 8/31/20

Olympic Community Action Programs recently received more than $300,000 from the Department of Commerce to help households and young adults impacted by COVID with rent and mortgage …

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Local rent, mortgage assistance effort backed by government grant

Posted

Olympic Community Action Programs recently received more than $300,000 from the Department of Commerce to help households and young adults impacted by COVID with rent and mortgage expenses. 

The Eviction Rent Assistance Program grant is intended to prevent evictions by paying past due, current due, and future rent, group officials said, targeting limited resources toward those with the greatest needs while also working to distribute funds equitably.

OlyCAP, as it’s known, previous called the Clallam-Jefferson Community Action Council, was founded in 1966, operates many programs intended to serve vulnerable members of the community and assuage the effects and prevalence of poor health, hunger, high unemployment and homelessness.

"Housing staff has been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to provide case management and financial supports to households in our community," said Kathy Morgan, director of housing at OlyCAP.

"We know full well that we would see an increase in our homeless population but for these funds. The funds expire on Dec. 31 ... so we encourage households and youth to apply as soon as possible and not wait until the eviction moratorium is lifted. We are grateful to our partners that are helping to provide referrals. We suggest that landlords talk with renters that have been behind or missed payments as a result of COVID.”

The agency is reportedly working with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe to ensure equitable distribution of the new funds in marginalized communities.

According to a recent OlyCAP statement, households must meet two initial screening criteria to qualify for assistance. First, their current income (over the last 60 days) must be at or below 50 percent of area's median income. And, secondly, at least one month of rent must not paid or left partially unpaid since March 1.

Additional information and resources are available at www.olycap.org. 

Further qualifications include someone in the household must also meet one of six possible housing insecurity criteria, including being rent burdened (50 percent or more of their current monthly income is needed to pay rent); having been homeless in the past five years; having been evicted in the past seven years; having one's housing disrupted due to household member race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion; being at risk of severe illness, as per CDC guidelines (being at least 62 and/or possessing underlying conditions); or disability among any of any household member, including 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).

For those younger than 24 who don’t fit those descriptions, officials said, there are additional ways to qualify, such as if you are pregnant or parenting, or have experience in foster care, the court system, or mental health, drug, or alcohol treatment.

OlyCAP may be able to pay up to three months of rent in any combination of

rental arrears, current rent or future rent through December 2020. 

If you need help, officials advise you visit www.olycap.org and click on the button that says, “Apply for Rental/Mortgage Assistance” or call 360-385-2571.

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