City of Spokane Rental Assistance Program

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.

July 29th, 2021: Applications are now OPEN!

If you have questions, please email us at FORWARD-support@livestories.com or call us at 1-855-582-3973.

Tenants can now apply online via the FORWARD portal. Please click the button below, fill out your profile, answer questions, upload supporting documents and submit your application!

Landlords

Tenants

Family Households

Assistance grants are available to Landlords as part of the Rental Assistance Program.

Tenants who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 in Spokane.

Housing assistance for families through Family Promise of Spokane.

Need Help? Reach Out to Our Community Partners

The City of Spokane and FORWARD are partnering with the following community organizations to help you complete application forms and provide you the right documentation. Connect with any of our partners below to receive assistance with the City of Spokane's Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Non-profit that is committed to changing the lives of Spokane’s African American community.

Helping refugees and immigrants from all countries resettle and rebuild their lives.

Foster, provide and teach peaceful problem solving.

Creating housing justice to improve tenants’ living conditions and transform housing practices.

Mediation firm dedicated to resolving conflict without litigation.

Transformational change in the areas of housing, safety, health, jobs and education.

An organization that supports citizen participation, integration, community development, and empowerment of the Latino population in Spokane.

Eligibility Requirements

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.

Required Documents

The following documents will be used to verify the above eligibility will be required: 

• Proof of income, which can include paystubs, W-2s or other wage statements, 2020 tax filings, or bank statements demonstrating regular income.

• Proof of a current lease, or documentation of residence showing evidence that establishes a pattern of paying rent.

• Proof of past due rent or utility notice, or eviction notice.

Please note that if you don't have these documents, you might still qualify for assistance. Get in touch with us so that we assist you with the application.

Tenant Tutorial Videos

How to Create an Account

How to Apply

How to Upload Documents

How to Submit Rent/Utilities

Frequently Asked Questions

General

What are the eligibility requirements?

Households who rent their home/apartment meet four criteria for City of Spokane ERAP assistance.

i. One or more individuals within the household are obligated to pay rent or have rental arrears (past due) on a residence located in The City of Spokane.

ii. Total household income is equal to or less than eighty percent (80%) of the area median income (AMI).

iii. One or more individuals within the household who have Qualified for unemployment insurance benefits; or, Experienced financial loss due, directly or indirectly, to COVID-19.

iv. One or more individuals within the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness; or housing instability.

What is the application process?

After submitting your application, it will move through the following five steps:

1. Application Review

2. Tenant Outreach - someone will contact you if more information is needed.

3. Eligibility Determination - if you meet the eligibility criteria, your application moves to the next step. If not, you will receive a written denial which you can appeal.

4. Landlord Outreach

5. Payment Processing

How do I check on the status of my application?

If you would like to check on the status of your application, please login to your FORWARD account and click the "My Applications" tab to see your status.

How will I know if I meet the City of Spokane income eligibility requirements?

You meet the income eligibility requirements if your total household income is equal to or less than 80% of the area median income (AMI). Your AMI depends on how many people live in your household; see the table here.

Do I have to be a US citizen to apply for The city of Spokane Emergency Rental Assistance (ERAP)? Or age limit?

United States citizenship is NOT an eligibility requirement of this program.

You must be 18 Years or older to apply. Or you are legally emancipated if under 18 years of age.

How many months does Emergency Rental Assistance cover?

Eligible renters may receive up to fifteen (15) months total assistance for unpaid past due rent and utilities incurred after March 13, 2020.

Will the Emergency Rental Assistance be considered taxable income for households?

No. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Emergency Rental Assistance is to help eligible households that require financial assistance to pay for rent, utilities, and other related expenses. Rental and utility payments ONLY count as gross income for your landlord or utility provider.

Once my ERAP application is approved, how will I receive the payment?

ERAP payments will be made directly to landlords and service providers. The information provided in your application will be used to contact your landlord or utility provider(s). You will receive documentation of all payments made to your landlord or utility provider(s) on your behalf.

What utilities are covered?

They can include electricity, gas, water/sewer, trash removal, energy costs, such as fuel oil. In addition, the Internet may be included if you can show that you used it due to covid-19 related circumstances, e.g., telemedicine, school, and/or work-related uses.

Phone and TV bills are NOT included in the program.

What about costs other than rent and utilities?

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

Is there a maximum amount of assistance per applicant covered by this program?

No, but rental assistance is limited to 15 months in total.

I receive a monthly federal subsidy (e.g., Housing Choice Voucher, Public Housing, Project-Based Section 8, USDA Rural Development). Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes. Households that receive a monthly federal subsidy are eligible to apply for assistance. However, assistance will only be provided for the amount not covered by other programs.