City of Spokane Rental Assistance Program
For Landlords

The City of Spokane and its partners are running this rental assistance program to address the hardship faced by our community. This emergency rental assistance program is intended for those who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Funds are available for past due, current due, future rent and utilities. In this webpage we will share with you information about the application process, provide FAQs for tenants and landlords, and share simple resources that simplify this process.

May 21st, 2021: Landlord opt-in

Landlords are required to opt-in to receive these assistance grants. You can easily opt-in to this program by completing and submitting your application through the Spokane FORWARD portal.

Download Required Documents

W-9 or Data Universal Numbering System number (DUNS #)

Rent Payment Form - One per unit you are applying for

How to Apply

You will need to set up an account to apply online.

City of Spokane has partnered with LiveStories/FORWARD to manage the application process and distribute awards.

In order to access the online application form you will need to set up an account in FORWARD.

Step 1: Create a FORWARD account. On the login page, click on the link to "Request access to FORWARD". You will be prompted to register for an account, the prompt will ask for your Business/Organization name and email address.

Once you have entered that, FORWARD will send an email to your email account that you used to create an account to set a secure password. After you set your password, login and start the application process. Please check your SPAM/Junk folder if you don’t receive the email. Signing up with FORWARD is free. It is required to submit an application for the City of Spokane Rental Assistance Program for Landlords.

Step 2: Once you are signed into your account, click on the "Rental Assistance: Landlord Opt-in" application then click on the "Apply" button to start the application process.

Step 3: Fill out the application. Complete the required information, questions, and certifications. Upload the required documents from the "Required Documents" section below.

Step 4: Submit. Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email from forward-notification@livestories.com to the email address you used to sign up with FORWARD.

We recommend using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari as browsers.

Please note: Communications about the application and award will come by email from forward-notification@livestories.com. Please make sure to check your spam folders as the award emails will come from LiveStories/FORWARD on behalf of City of Spokane. Please be sure to monitor your email, including Junk or "spam" folders.

Tutorial Videos

How to Apply

How to Upload Multiple Documents

Tenant Paper Application

Please download all four (4) applications below:

After opting in as a Landlord, you can assist your tenants with their applications process. To initiate the paper application process, please follow the steps below.

Step 1: Download the 4 forms above – Self Declaration, Eligibility, Rent and OHC, and Utility. Please note the Utility form is not required. All forms can be filled out while in PDF format. Fill out all necessary fields in each form. Please attain a signature (physical, electronic or verbal) for your tenant(s).

Step 2: Gather all other documents that are listed in the Required Documents section below. Proof of income, proof of lease, proof of past due rent or utility notice, or eviction notice. If you do not have these documents, please fill out the Self Declaration form with details regarding self attestation.

Step 3: Email all forms and documents to FORWARD Support at forward-support@livestories.com.

If you’re having difficulty with questions, forms, or sending in documents to FORWARD Support, please have your tenant(s) reach out to one of our Community Partners by visiting here or contact FORWARD Support at forward-support@livestories.com or 1-800-819-9785.

Frequently Asked Questions

General

How do I get an EIN number?

Then EIN, Employer Identification Number, is your Federal Tax Identification Number and it is used to identify a business entity. To apply for an EIN number online, please visit the IRS business page and follow their three step process. Click here to apply for an EIN number.

What if I don't have an EIN number?

If you aren't a business and are simply renting out a unit as an individual, please enter your Social Security Number in the required EIN field when submitting your application.

What is a DUNS number and why do I need one?

The "data universal numbering system" known as DUNS, is a unique 9-digit number system that is used by businesses and the federal government to keep track of more than 70 million businesses world-wide. The federal government, and now the City of Spokane, requires organizations to provide a DUNS number as part of their grant applications, proposals, and award monitoring. It is a way for the federal government's Office of Management & Budget to keep track of how federal grant money is awarded and disbursed.

How do I get a DUNS number and is there a fee?

There is no fee for registering for a DUNS number. It only takes a day to get a DUNS number from D&B. There are two ways to obtain the number:

Via phone - The process will take about ten minutes. Contact the D&B Government Customer Response Center: 1-866-705-5711. Tell the operator that you are under a federal grant program and need to register for a DUNS number.

Via internet

Can this program pay for past due rent and utilities? What about late fees?

Yes. This program will cover past due or unpaid rent and utility costs incurred after March 13, 2020. Applicants may receive assistance up to a maximum of fifteen (15) months.

Can I receive multiple ERAP payments from several different ERAP applications?

Yes. Landlords and utility providers with multiple renters or customers that are eligible for ERAP funding may receive multiple payments from the program.

What are the eligibility requirements for tenants?

Households must meet all four of the initial screening criteria to be eligible for rental assistance:

      • Someone in the household has qualified for unemployment or experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
      • You have current housing instability or risk of housing instability, which may include rental arrears or anticipation of inability to pay future rent.
      • Your household income is at or below 80% of the Area Medium Income – Click Here for an Area Medium Income calculator.
      • Your household resides within the Spokane City limits – Click Here for a map of Spokane neighborhoods.

I have a renter who owes past due rent, but they are not willing to apply for assistance through the program for unknown reasons. Can I apply directly as their landlord?

Yes. A landlord may apply on the renter’s behalf, and communication will be sent to the tenant informing them of the application. The renter must then complete the application for it to be considered for approval and payment.

My renter receives a monthly federal subsidy (e.g., Housing Choice Voucher, Public Housing, Project-Based Section 8, USDA Rural Development). Are they eligible to apply?

Yes. Households that receive a monthly federal subsidy, where their rent is adjusted according to changes in income, are eligible to apply for assistance through the program. However, aid will only be provided for the amount not covered by other programs.

Federal law requires that ERAP payments not be duplicative of any other federally funded rental assistance provided to an eligible household. Therefore, ERAP funds may not be applied to costs that have been or will be, reimbursed under other federal programs.

I am not sure if my renters are willing to document their immigration status; should I still encourage them to apply?

Yes. This program does not require the applicant to document nationality or immigration status. You do not need to be a US citizen to apply for this program.

Can the relief be used to pay for expenses other than rent and utilities?

Yes. Costs related to obtaining or keeping safe housing will be considered on a case-by-case basis when an ERAP application is reviewed.

Depending on the circumstances, eligible costs include:

      • Reasonable relocation expense
      • Security deposits
      • Reasonable late fees
      • Renters insurance is required in the lease
      • Moving costs and rental fees if displaced due to COVID-19, including hotel/motel charges and screening or application fees
      • Utility disconnection and reconnection fees
      • Internet service if you or a member of your household needs the Internet for:
                ◦ Homeschooling/distance learning
                ◦ Telework
                ◦ Job search
                ◦ Telehealth visits

Will the payment amount(s) I receive to be considered taxable income?

Yes. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), rental payments and utility payments you receive from ERAP funding, whether from a customer or a Distributing Entity on the customer’s behalf, are included in your gross income.

What if my renter or customer receives the payment directly and does not use it to pay the eligible expenses owed to me?

Federal law requires that ERAP payments be made directly to landlords and utility companies on the renter’s behalf. Therefore, the renter will only receive the payment directly if the landlord or utility service provider refuses to accept payment on behalf of the renter.

ERAP case reviewers are required to attempt to contact the applicant’s landlords and/or utility providers during the application process. Regardless of who receives payment, both the applicant and the landlord or utility service provider will receive documentation of the payment.

Is there an application fee to apply?

No.

What can I, as the landlord, do to facilitate a smooth process to apply and/or receive The City of Spokane’s Emergency Rental Assistance?

• Share information about the City of Spokane’s Emergency Rental Assistance program with your renter(s)
• Ensure that you and your renter(s) have access to the necessary documentation, such as a copy of the lease agreement and notices showing the amount of rent or utilities due
• Assist your renter(s) with collecting the required documentation
• Provide renters with your email address to facilitate communication and expedite the application process.