Yakima County and FORWARD to distribute an additional $8 million to Yakima tenants and landlords

Yakima, WA (March 6, 2023)—FORWARD, the leading integrated program administration solution for local governments, is distributing an additional $8 million in grants as a part of their ongoing partnership with Yakima County. This grant funding will provide rent relief to eligible renters or landlords who have lost income due to COVID-19 and struggle to pay or collect rent. The Yakima County Rental Assistance Program distributed over $12M in rental assistance to over 2,900 households between September 2020 and January 2022 and has distributed a third round of rental assistance since March 2022 amounting to $18M to over 4,000 households. 

“This program is providing the essential support that residents need, especially during this tumultuous economic time,” said Esther Magasis, Director of Human Services at Yakima County. “The additional funding will continue to support Yakima community and provide much needed financial support to tenants and landlords. 

This emergency funding will offset the financial impact of past due, current, and future rent and utility bills to prevent eviction for tenants and to sustain landlords financially impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis.

FORWARD, the prime contractor for this program, will assist in the ongoing distribution of the additional $8 million to provide residents of Yakima relief. The collaboration between the County and FORWARD continues to support an accessible online application platform, while partnering with other locally-based service providers like Catholic Charities of Central Washington, OIC Washington, Yakima Neighborhood Health Services and Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic to provide in-person support for those who need it. 

Yakima County selected FORWARD as a partner to assist with community outreach, collaborating with local partner agencies, administering an online application portal, application support, screening for eligibility and sending payments in a way that uses taxpayer dollars efficiently. Applicants and qualifying households can expect:

  • To apply online through FORWARD’s online application portal available in 68 languages 
  • To apply in-person at through the following partner agencies: Catholic Charities of Central Washington, OIC Washington, Yakima Neighborhood Health Services and Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic
  • Access to application support available in multiple languages via phone, text and email
  • To present verification of income and proof of residency
  • To submit a current lease or documentation of residence showing evidence that establishes a pattern of paying rent
  • Eligible households will receive payment by paper check

“The FORWARD team and Yakima County share a commitment to administering funding equitably and securely,” said Adnan Mahmud, CEO of FORWARD Platform. “The community made their ongoing needs especially apparent at the initial in-person application events and through these outreach efforts made possible through this rent relief program. Yakima County residents will receive the support that they need as they continue to navigate the financial hardships imposed upon them by the pandemic.”

Applications for the Yakima County Rental Assistance Fair Program are open now. Eligible tenants and landlords with an income of less than 80% of the area median income (AMI) within the boundaries of Yakima County, WA are encouraged to apply. To learn more about the necessary qualifications and to apply visit: https://www.yakimacounty.us/2453/For-Tenants-and-Landlords

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