Rent assistance payments set to resume

No specific date given on when payments will resume

Posted

Thurston County has transferred its Thurston County Rent Assistance operation to analytic company LiveStories after suspending the program 36 days ago.

“We know this has been incredibly stressful and scary for so many of you. We are deeply sorry for the additional stress this transition has caused,” Thurston County announced in a press release earlier today.

“This may take a few weeks,” said the press release.

The county suspended its contract with previous rental assistance program partner Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason & Thurston Counties (CAC) Feb. 24, on suspicion of fraud in rental assistance payments, stalling payments to the relief program’s 1,269 household beneficiaries.

“Thank you for your patience, flexibility and understanding with the transition of Thurston County Rent Assistance,” the county addressed Thurston’s renters.

Previous articles in The JOLT report that around $20 million in rent assistance has already been distributed by CAC.

LiveStories resumed the suspended program’s processing of clients March 30, two days ago, with the following groups given priority:

  • Those who completed an application and are waiting for their rent assistance payment.
  • Those who were still working on their application when the program was suspended/paused.
  • Clients of the Eviction Resolution Pilot Program at the Dispute Resolution Center.
  • Those who had an appointment with Community Action Council that was canceled due to the suspension/pause.

New applications no longer accepted

However, the county also announced that it will not accept new applications, but will accept new applicants “as funding allows,” after the priority groups have been served. The county noted that attending to the above groups may take a few weeks.

Meanwhile, in another press statement, the Washington State Department of Commerce announced its closing of its Landlord COVID Relief Program (a different program) by April 29, Friday, advising landlords to have all missing documentation submitted and all adjusted claims approved by the set date for their claim to be considered.

On its website, Commerce gave notice that the program’s effective coverage period ended on Dec. 31 last year. However, the Landlord Damage Relief and Tenancy Preservation Programs will remain open.

The County provides updates on its rent assistance programs through its email list.

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  • Thurston County's done a good job investigating the potential fraud in the CAC's handling of rental assistance. It's messy, but they sent the info to the Thurston County Sheriff's Department, who after examining the info, asked the FBI to get involved. It's been hard on a lot of renters, but may the truth prevail very soon.

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