Applications will be processed in the order in which they are received.
The Utility Assistance Program can pay back-due utilities, accrued after March 13, 2020, for eligible households.
Allowable utilities are separately-stated charges related to the occupancy of rental property, including: electricity, gas, water and sewer, trash removal and energy costs, such as fuel oil.
Eligible applicants may be granted utility assistance based on funding availability and income priority (as described below). All applicants will receive an eligibility determination within 7 business days of receipt of a completed application; a status of “eligible” does not guarantee award of utility assistance.
If you have received rental assistance through Volunteers of America or Cocoon House, you may already be eligible based on the documentation provided. Please contact your Navigator/Case Manager.
|Median Family Income Levels (AMI)||Persons In Household|
|Basic Eligibility Income Level||80% AMI ($)||63,350||72,400||81,450||90,500||97,750||105,00||112,250||119,500|
|Priority Income Level||50% AMI ($)||40,500||46,300||52,100||57,850||62,500||67,150||71,750||76,400|
There is not enough funding to assist all of the households who may be eligible for utility assistance under this program. The purpose of the eligibility screening criteria is to target those most likely to become homeless.
Households must meet all three of the initial screening criteria:
In addition to the above initial screening criteria, the following households will be prioritized:
United States citizenship is NOT an eligibility requirement of this program.
For the purposes of this program, a household is the person or people that are obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling and are seeking assistance together. Roommates sharing a residence, but who each have a separate lease, are not considered a household.
Households in informal rental agreements (e.g. staying with family/friends or in a motel long term) are able to receive financial assistance.
Households residing in subsidized housing are able to receive assistance if funds are not applied to costs that have been or will be reimbursed under any other assistance.
Assistance received through this program should not count as a public benefit for the purpose of determining whether someone is considered a public charge. Public charge refers to non-US citizens who have received one or more public benefits, for more than 12 months within any 36-month period. A person considered a public charge is ineligible to become a lawful permanent resident.
Utility assistance provided through this program shall not be regarded as income. Utility assistance received through this program is not regarded as a resource for purposes of determining the eligibility of the household or any member of the household for benefits or assistance, or the amount or extent of benefits or assistance, under any Federal program or under any State or local program financed in whole or in part with Federal funds.
Household eligibility will be documented. The application form and accompanying documentation will be kept in a secure household file and made available on demand to confirm grant compliance.
If a household received financial assistance in the last 60 days and re-applies for assistance, their Household Information and application and documentation are still valid for additional services. If 60 days has passed, they need new eligibility paperwork.
To determine income eligibility, Workforce Snohomish will consider the household’s total gross income for calendar year 2020 or the household’s current monthly income at the time of application. Income verified for the calendar year 2020 does not need to be re-verified.
If a household qualifies based on monthly income, the grantee must re-verify income eligibility every three months for the duration of assistance.
Gross Income is the amount of income earned before any deductions (such as taxes and health insurance premiums) are made.
Workforce Snohomish will collect source documentation for income determinations when possible. This can include paystubs, W-2s or other wage statements, tax filings, bank statements demonstrating regular income, or an attestation from an employer.
An attestation from an employer should include the employee’s name, employer’s name, pay amount and frequency, average hours worked per week, amount of any additional compensation.
Source documentation can also include a determination letter/statement from another local, state, or federal government assistance program that verified the household income on or after January 1, 2020.
Source documentation is flexible and can include photocopies or digital photographs of documents, e-mails, or attestations from employers, landlords, caseworkers, or others with knowledge of the household’s circumstances.
Electronic signatures for all documentation types are allowable.
Under limited circumstances, a grantee may rely on a written self-declaration from the household without income source documentation. Grantees have discretion to allow for self-declarations when accommodating disabilities, extenuating circumstances related to the pandemic, a lack of technological access, or when a household’s income, or a portion of it, is not verifiable due to the impact of COVID-19, has been received in cash, or the household has no qualifying income.
When appropriate, grantees may rely on an attestation from a caseworker or other professional with knowledge of a household’s circumstances to certify their income eligibility.
When a written self-declaration is used in place of source documentation, the grantee must re-verify household income every three months for the duration of assistance.
Workforce Snohomish will use one of the following calculations to convert the wage into annual income:
One or more individuals in the household must demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or currently experiencing housing instability. Documentation may include:
For documenting unemployment benefits:
For documenting all other types of financial hardship:
Utilities and home energy costs are separately-stated charges related to the occupancy of rental property. They can include electricity, gas, water and sewer, trash removal and energy costs, such as fuel oil. Utilities that are covered by the landlord within rent will be treated as rent. Utility only payments are allowable. Future utility payments are not allowable. All payments for utilities and home energy costs should be supported by a bill, invoice, or evidence of payment to the provider of the utility or home energy service.
Other housing costs include reasonable accrued late fees (if not included in utility arrears and if incurred due to COVID-19), and Internet service provided to the rental unit. Internet service provided to a residence is related to housing and is in many cases a vital service that allows renters to engage in distance learning, telework, telemedicine, and obtain government services.
Documentation of payments made to a utility provider on behalf of the household will be provided to the household. If the utility provider does not agree to accept payment from Workforce Snohomish after outreach by Workforce Snohomish, or the landlord cannot be reached, Workforce Snohomish may make payments directly to the household for them to provide to the utility provider themselves. Workforce Snohomish must first make reasonable efforts to obtain the cooperation of the utility providers to accept payments. Outreach will be considered complete if:
Federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.