Thurston County
Rental Assistance Program for Tenants

Thurston County Rental Assistance Program is now CLOSED.

Effective May 9, 2023, at 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, the application portal has stopped accepting new submissions. 


  • For those who have already submitted an application, we ask for your patience as our dedicated team diligently processes the received applications. Please allow sufficient time for your application to be thoroughly reviewed and assessed.
  • We would like to emphasize that Thurston County can no longer accept any new applications for rent assistance at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Program Overview

This emergency funding is to prevent eviction for households who the COVID pandemic has financially impacted. Low-income households living in Thurston County can receive funds to cover past due, current, and future rent and utility bills.

Funding is available for renters or landlords who have lost income due to COVID-19 and struggle to pay or collect rent.

If you need help with this online application, please email us at or call us at 1-855-582-3973.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to complete the application due to a disability, please contact a local partner from the list below for assistance.

Community Alert

NOTICE: Thurston County and LiveStories are committed to the safety and privacy of Thurston County residents. Email and voice phishing scams are unfortunately very common and target the most vulnerable people in our community.

We want to remind Thurston County residents to never provide their login information, username, password, social security number, or similarly sensitive information over the phone or email to apply for or receive rental assistance.

Emails should come from authorized domain addresses, such as (Thurston County’s third-party rental assistance administrator),,, and Thurston County local partner providers –,,,, and

If you are unsure if the entity you are speaking to is authorized to assist with your rental assistance application, please contact email us at or call us at 1-855-582-3973.

These programs are funded with taxpayer dollars – Thurston County is dedicated to prosecuting those who commit fraud against their neighbors

Eligibility Requirements

Households must meet all four of the initial screening criteria to be eligible for rental assistance:

Someone in the household has qualified for unemployment or experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You have current housing instability or risk of housing instability, which may include rental arrears or anticipation of inability to pay future rent.

Your household income is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) – Refer to the table below for Income Limit.
2021 Income Limit by Number of Persons in Family
Number of Persons Income Limit
Median Family Income $90,200
1 $50,550
2 $57,750
3 $64,950
4 $72,150
5 $77,950
6 $83,700
7 $89,500
8 $95,250

Your household resides within Thurston County – Click Here for a map of Thurston County neighborhoods.

* We prioritize assistance to households with income that does not exceed 50 percent of the area median income for the household, or where one or more individuals within the household are unemployed as of the date of the application for assistance and have not been employed for the 90-day period preceding such date.

Required Documents

The following documents will be used to verify your eligibility:

Which can include paystubs, W-2s or other wage statements, 2020 tax filings, or bank statements demonstrating regular income.

Proof of a current lease, or documentation of residence showing evidence that establishes a pattern of paying rent.

Proof of past due rent or utility notice, or eviction notice.

You can store documents in your profile so that you can easily find them to include in your applications. These file formats are supported: .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpeg, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .xls, and .xlsx

Please note that you might still qualify for assistance if you do not have these documents. Contact us so we may assist you with the application.

Frequently Asked Questions

FORWARD has extensive experience administering rental assistance programs across the nation and can process applications at scale, prevent fraud, securely process payments, and provide reporting that meets Treasury requirements.

Households who rent their home/apartment must meet four criteria for Thurston County Rental assistance.

  1. One or more individuals within the household are obligated to pay rent or have rental arrears (past due) on a residence located in Thurston County.

  2. Total household income is equal to or less than eighty percent (80%) of the area median income (AMI).

  3. One or more individuals within the household who have Qualified for unemployment insurance benefits; or, Experienced financial loss due, directly or indirectly, to COVID-19.

  4. One or more individuals within the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness; or housing instability.

After submitting your application, it will move through the following five steps:

  1. Application Review

  2. Tenant Outreach – someone will contact you if more information is needed.

  3. Eligibility Determination – your application moves to the next step if you meet the eligibility criteria. If not, you will receive a written denial which you can appeal.

  4. Landlord Outreach

  5. Payment Processing

If you would like to check on the status of your application, please log into your FORWARD account and click the “My Applications” tab to see your status.

You meet the income eligibility requirements if your total household income equals or less than 80% of the area median income (AMI). Your AMI depends on how many people live in your household.

No. United States citizenship is NOT an eligibility requirement of this program.

You must be 18 Years or older to apply. Or you are legally emancipated if under 18 years of age.

Households with missed or partially paid rent can receive a total of 18 months of rent and/or utility assistance from March 13, 2020.

No. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Emergency Rental Assistance is to help eligible households that require financial assistance to pay for rent, utilities, and other related expenses. Rental and utility payments ONLY count as gross income for your landlord or utility provider.

Rental payments will be made directly to landlords utility providers. The information provided in your application will be used to contact your landlord or utility provider(s). You will receive documentation of all payments made to your landlord or utility provider(s) on your behalf.

They can include electricity, gas, water/sewer, trash removal, energy costs, such as fuel, oil, or wood for heating. The Internet is considered an utility for this program.

Phone and TV bills are NOT included in the program.

Costs related to obtaining or keeping safe housing will be considered on a case-by-case basis when an application is reviewed.

Yes. Households that receive a monthly federal subsidy are eligible to apply for assistance. However, assistance will only be provided for the amount not covered by other programs.

No, but rental assistance is limited to 18 months in total.

FMR is the Fair Market Rent of a rental unit in a designated area decided by the Department of Housing Urban Development. As defined in 24 CFR 888.113, Fair Market Rents are estimates of 40th percentile gross rents for standard quality units within a metropolitan area or nonmetropolitan county. The table below depicts the FMR for Thurston County, Washington.

FY 2022 & FY 2021 FMRs By Unit Bedrooms In Thurston County
Number of Bedrooms FY 2022 FMR FY 2021 FMR
Efficiency $1,035 $1,021
One-Bedroom $1,076 $1,026
Two-Bedroom $1,273 $1,241
Three-Bedroom $1,808 $1,776
Four-Bedroom $2,149 $2,149

FORWARD Online Application Tutorials

FORWARD Online Application Tutorials

4 Videos

Need Help? Reach Out to Our Community Partners

Thurston County and FORWARD are partnering with the following community organizations to help you complete application forms and provide you the right documentation. Connect with any of our partners below to receive assistance with Thurston County Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

CIELO has been a trusted and respected resource for the Latino community and other immigrants and refugees. We also work alongside other agencies and organizations that serve our community. We aim to be a hub for the South Puget Sound, where people of all generations and life experiences celebrate cultures and traditions in an atmosphere of respect and dignity. ¡Viva CIELO!

Innovations Human Trafficking Collaborative (Innovations HTC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Olympia, WA, which has extensive experience in combating all forms of human trafficking and supporting those impacted by the crime.

Family Support Center of South Sound is a nonprofit 501c3 multi-service agency located in Olympia, Washington, founded in 1992. The agency provides over 4,000 parents, children, and survivors of violence with coordinated, supportive services in one centralized location.

SafePlace strives to stop sexual and domestic violence and advocate for personal and societal change through crisis intervention and education.

We envision a South Sound where people are empowered and engaged in the community as they age, valued for their wisdom and experience, and have a positive sense of self-worth.

FORWARD is administering the Rental Assistance Program on behalf of Thurston County. 

FORWARD is the leading Integrated Program Administration solution that incorporates all essential components, people and technology into a single streamlined workflow to effectively, securely, and equitably administer critical resources to help communities thrive.