HOUSING

Rent assistance applicants must re-apply, county says

LiveStories, the new contractor, will open applications April 25 or May 2

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LiveStories, Thurston County’s new rent assistance contractor, will accept new applications for the county’s Treasury Rent Assistance Program starting Monday, May 2, according to an April 14 press release from Thurston County.

Applicants whose applications were canceled due to the suspension of CAC’s contract can expect an email with access to re-apply starting Monday, April 25, according to the county.

Admission to the relief fund abruptly stopped on Feb 24 when the Thurston County Board of County Commissioners suspended the county’s agreement with Community Action Council (CAC).

“If you received rent assistance from Community Action Council in the past, you will need to apply as a new client with LiveStories to get set up in their system,” the county’s April 1 press release stated.

The JOLT continues to seek clarification from the county regarding the status of applications that had been approved prior to February 24. 

New and renewing applicants will begin with an online application, a  LiveStories site (not available at this time) with the organization contacting the applicant after receiving their application. The county provided these links for applicants without internet access are advised to go to local rent assistance partners to process their request:

LiveStories assumed distribution of the relief fund after a 36-day hiatus after the Thurston Board of County Commissioners suspended its contract with CAC following the county auditor reporting potential fraudulent applications. At that point, about $20 million of the relief fund was already distributed by CAC.

The contract suspension put relief payments to 1,269 beneficiaries on hold until LiveStories assumed control on March 30.

“Thurston County acknowledges that the sudden suspension of the rent assistance program caused a great deal of stress, anxiety and upset in the community,” the press statement said. The county maintains this webpage that provides further details.

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