HOUSING, UTILITIES, AND FOOD ASSISTANCE
- Beginning March 18, there is a moratorium on residential evictions throughout Washington State. Landlords cannot charge fees for late or partial payment or evict tenants for non-payment of rent. Additionally, law enforcement cannot enforce existing eviction orders based solely on non-payment of rent. The state-wide moratorium is set to expire April 17, 2020, but the Governor will likely extend the moratorium check Food Family and Housing for updates on the moratorium. The city of Seattle also has a moratorium on residential evictions that extends until May 15, 2020 or until Mayor Durkan announces the end of the emergency. Visit Renting in Seattle for more information.
- Tenants who receive an eviction notice or have a landlord that is threatening eviction due to non-payment of rent during the moratorium should submit an online complaint with the Attorney General’s Office. If they live in Seattle, tenants may also call the Renting in Seattle helpline at 206-684-5700.
- United Way of King County has created an online rental assistance application. Tenants must be King County residents, have a rental ledger showing non-payment, show significant reduction of income due to COVID-19, and currently have an income below 50% of the King County median (based on family size and income). For further information and to apply, visit United Way Rent Help.
- See the Rental Housing Association of WA website for a list of other rental assistance programs.
- Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and Seattle City Light (SCL) will keep utility services on during the COVID-19 Civil Emergency in Seattle. SPU and SCL customers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19, regardless of background or immigration status, can request a deferred payment plan with the utilities by calling (206) 684-3000 or sending an email on the Seattle Public Utilities website. Puget Sound Energy (PSG) will not disconnect customers for non-payment. Visit the PSG website for further information.
- Renters and homeowners may also qualify for Seattle Utility Discount Program (UDP), which offers a 60% discount to qualified SCL and SPU customers. Eligibility depends on household size and gross monthly income. Visit the UDP website to determine eligibility and enroll.
- New Internet access programs providing free or low cost connection are available through Xfinity, AT&T and Comcast.
Please see this list of Emergency food access resources. Additionally, the nonprofit WithinReach is adapting to respond to COVID-19 and can assist families and individuals in applying for food stamps, health insurance, transit passes, and other public health benefits. For assistance call the Help Me Grow Washington Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 or fill out the BenefitFinder on the WithinReach website.
Loans, Credit Cards, Debt
The Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has put together this list of financial resources. In general, DFI recommends communicating directly with lenders and credit card companies to determine what hardship programs are available. Depending on the lender or credit card company, the hardship program may include: waiving certain fees like ATM, over payments, and late fees, as well as allowing individuals to delay, adjust, or skip some payments.
Emergency Student Loan Forbearance
Federal student loans are being placed on administrative forbearance allowing those with loans to temporarily stop making monthly loan payments. The suspension of payments will last until Sept. 30, 2020. Please see the Studentaid website for further information.
- Washingtonconnection.org offers a fast and easy way for families and individuals to apply for a variety of services such as Food, Cash, Child Care, Long-Term Care, and Medicare Savings Programs. This website uses a single application to determine eligibility for the majority of state assistance programs and then provides direct links to apply for such benefits.
- The Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) provides a variety of emergency assistance programs. See the DSHS Emergency Programs website for further information and to download an application.
- DSHS maintains a Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) cash assistance program through this list of providers. The Washington Department of Commerce also suggests connecting with one of these providers if an individual is homeless or about to become homeless. Visit the DSHS HEN website to determine eligibility. Note, only adults with a physical or mental disability (including addiction or substance abuse problems) who meet citizenship, income, unemployment and other requirements will qualify.
Marital/Family, Financial, etc.
All DTG employees have access to an Employee Assistance Program (“EAP”) Hotline for free access to professional counseling. Please contact the HR department for more information.