Galina Volchkova, senior director of housing services at Volunteers of America, is shown processing some of the thousands of applications for rental assistance she received in 2021. (Katie Hayes / Herald file)

Galina Volchkova, senior director of housing services at Volunteers of America, is shown processing some of the thousands of applications for rental assistance she received in 2021. (Katie Hayes / Herald file)

Rental assistance applications closed for now

Snohomish County expects up to $21 million for the next round of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

EVERETT — The main nonprofit that distributes rental assistance for Snohomish County is no longer accepting applications.

It’s unclear when people can start applying for the money again.

“We have to allocate about $30 million, at least, to serve those that we have already enrolled,” said Galina Volchkova, senior director of Housing Services at Volunteers of America. “We have thousands of clients enrolled in the program, waiting for assistance.”

VOA believes it has enough funding to help the roughly 3,400 households it has enrolled. It stopped accepting new applications March 1. Payments are supposed to reach landlords before the end of May. In total, the nonprofit has provided rental assistance to 13,000 households since the pandemic started.

“We have to stop screening and focus on those with the current program,” Volchkova said. “… If someone is eligible, we don’t have a specific limit on how much to pay. We don’t know how much the 3,400 households will take in the end.”

The Snohomish County Human Services Department expects to receive another $20 million to $21 million more for rental assistance. However, the county won’t know the exact amount until it finalizes a contract with the state Department of Commerce.

In the meantime, tenants who receive an eviction notice are eligible for more funding and programs, Volchkova said, and should still call 211. The 14-day notice to pay or vacate is important to mention to the referral specialist who answers, Volchkova said.

The 211 referral specialist can help people get a mediator through the Eviction Resolution Pilot Program. The mediators can help tenants set up a payment plan or gain access to legal services. The Coordinated-Entry Homelessness Prevention Program also has money to help people in this situation, Volchkova said.

Katie Hayes:; Twitter: @misskatiehayes.

Katie Hayes is a Report for America corps member and writes about issues that affect the working class for The Daily Herald.

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