Housing Assistance for Low-Income in Washington

This article provides information on where to find resources and assistance if you are unable to afford quality housing in Washington.

Tenants Union of Washington State

Tenants Union of Washington State provides necessary resources for rental assistance for people in need in Washington. The union recommends that you contact your landlord immediately you realize you are not in a position to pay rent. Your landlord should be aware that, while you may not pay rent on time, you are looking for support. You should also inquire if your landlord may accept to get paid partially until the full amount is covered.

What to Do in Case You Are Unable to Pay Your Rent in Washington State

Well, why don’t you start by contacting Washington State at 2-1-1, 206-461-3200, or 800-621-4636? You will need to provide information regarding your physical address, including zip code. You will also be required to explain your situation in detail. The State will use the information to refer you to relevant agencies.

Call Your Local Agencies for Assistance

Once you have given information about your situation and physical address, the Community Information Line will advise you about the agencies in your location. When calling your local agencies for assistance, ensure you are clear about what support you need. Ensure you provide all the details about your current situation and why you need support. Note that most rental assistance programs in Washington will expect you to at least have an income to pay your monthly rent. The Community Information Line will help you find resources for support. It is advisable to be fully prepared if you qualify for an appointment with your local agency. Come with all the documents stating your income, how much you owe, your lease, and your landlord’s contact information. The process can be complicated and overwhelming but staying calm and patient will help you get the most out of it. Find out more at https://tenantsunion.org/rights/rental-assistance-resources.

Home Advantage Loan Program

The Home Advantage Loan Program is offered by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) and it is available for eligible residents. WSHFC is committed to improving housing conditions in Washington through enhanced affordability, availability, and quality. Through the HAL program, the Commission helps qualified homebuyers to purchase a home at below-market interest rates. The funds for the program are always available and can change depending on the market conditions and rates. For more information about this program, please visit https://go-summit.com/home-advantage-loan-program/.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The annual household income must be limited to $145,000.
  • You must have a credit score of at least 620.
  • You must be located in Washington State.
  • You must have Approved Homebuyer Education and received a certificate of completion.
  • Are you interested in applying for this program? Well, why don’t you get started with the process at http://go-summit.com/contact/?


Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA)

The TBRA rental assistance program supports low-income Washington residents as well as those households struggling with security and utility deposits. The program also assists the eligible individuals and households in paying up to 12 months of rent. This program also offers financial assistance to the homeless and families in transition. Find out more at https://www.commerce.wa.gov/serving-communities/homelessness/tenant-based-rental-assistance-tbra/.

Foreclosure Assistance

Are you residing in Washington and you are facing foreclosure? The Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ) is committed to helping you access the information and legal assistance, including advocates you need in dealing with the risk of foreclosure.

Urban League Housing

The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle has been in existence since 1968 after being certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The ULH provides housing counseling to low-income households of first-time homebuyers, current homeowners, and rental tenants. In addition to that, the program organizes monthly seminars for homebuyers which are held on the third Saturday of every month. For more information, please visit http://www.urbanleague.org/housing/ or contact them at 800-368-1455.

Northwest Justice Project

NJP provides legal assistance to low-income households and individuals with legal problems regarding foreclosure. If you want to apply, please begin the process by visiting https://nwjustice.org/apply-online. You are required to provide information regarding your finances and your situation. NJP will contact you if you need support with housing. If you are already facing foreclosure, please reach out through 1-800-606-4819. Find out more at https://nwjustice.org/get-legal-help.

Washington Foreclosure Mediation Program

The WFM program supports Washington homeowners facing foreclosure by offering them the opportunity to be referred by a housing counselor or attorney mediation. The lenders are to review the options available to enable homomers to keep their homes. Eligibility requirements for this program include:

You have received a notice of default from your lender.

You must be present at your home when the foreclosure process starts.

How Does the Program Work?

Well, of course, you cannot refer yourself to the mediation program. You have to be referred by an attorney or a housing counselor by sending a referral form to the department of commerce at http://commerce.wa.gov/foreclosures. As long as you are a Washington resident, you will be given counselors free of charge. To access a counselor, please reach by contacting 1-877-894-HOME (4663). Housing counseling will not cost you any money. For more information, please visit https://dfi.wa.gov/homeownership/washington-foreclosure-mediation-program.

Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) Referral Program

The HEN program provides housing resources to eligible low-income individuals in Washington who need rental assistance and are unable to work for at least 90 days due to physical or mental incapacity. The eligibility criteria for rental assistance through this program are determined by the Department of Commerce. The Department of Commerce makes use of the homeless prevention service providers to determine the essential needs of items. Assistance provided to eligible individuals may include:

  • Limited rent and utility assistance.
  • Cleaning supplies.
  • Move-in costs.
  • Health and hygiene items.
  • Transportation assistance.

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be unable to work for at least 90 days due to physical or mental incapacities.
  • You must be 18 years or older.
  • You must be classified under low-income earners.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of Washington State.

NOTE: You will not be eligible for this support if you have qualified for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or any SSI benefits and if you do not follow the Social Security Administration (SSA) program rule. For more information, please visit https://www.dshs.wa.gov/esa/community-services-offices/housing-and-essential-needs-hen-referral-program.

Washington’s Section 8 Housing Program

Washington’s Section 8 Housing Program makes affordable housing options available for low-income individuals and families. Qualified applicants are allowed to look for homes that are payable by the vouchers. This means that not all rental properties are Section 8 approved. You can contact your local PHA to confirm the locations that are section 8 approved. You should note that being approved for the vouchers doesn’t mean you won’t pay anything. You will be accountable for a portion of your monthly rent. The number of vouchers applicants receive depends on their level of income as well as the size of the family. The PHAs are required to perform credit and background checks. Those who have been recently convicted of drug-related crimes are not eligible for Section 8 Housing in Washington. It is allowed to apply for this program in different areas. For more information, please visit https://eligibility.com/section-8/washington-wa-section-8-benefits.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

LIHEAP Program provides funds to help low-income Washington residents maintain affordable utility services and avoid shutoff during winter seasons. The program offers energy assistance to families using more of their annual income to pay utility bills. the program is available in Washington through a network of Community Action Agencies and local municipalities. To receive LIHEAP assistance, each local agency follows its procedures. You need to schedule an appointment with a local agency offering services in your location. Your income must not exceed 150% of the federal poverty level. For more information, please visit https://www.commerce.wa.gov/growing-the-economy/energy/low-income-home-energy-assistance/

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