Yakima County
Rental Assistance Program for Tenants

Yakima County is nearing the end of the COVID Rental Assistance Program. Applications submitted on or after March 13, 2023 may not be processed. We stopped accepting new applications on March 31, 2023.

Program Overview

This emergency funding is to prevent eviction for households who the COVID pandemic has financially impacted. Low-income households living in Yakima 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 
FORWARD-support@forwardplatform.com or call us at 1-855-582-3973.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to complete the application due to a disability, please reach out to 1-509-574-1365 or contact a local partner from the list below for assistance.

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) – Click Here for an Area Median Income calculator.

Your household resides within Yakima County – Click Here for a map of Yakima 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, 2021 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 Yakima County Emergency 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 Yakima 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. Click Here for an Area Median Income calculator.

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 assistance for all months of missed rent from March 13, 2020.

However, Yakima County has utilized several funding programs to continue to assist residents with rental assistance. Some rental assistance programs have limited the number of months to 15 or 18, based on the funding source in use at the time of approval.

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 assistance payments are made directly to your landlord via check or direct deposit to their bank account. There are some circumstances in some programs where payment may be made directly to the tenant, if the landlord refuses to participate but these are rare and only under special circumstances. Payments for utilities must go directly to the utility provider and may not be paid to tenants or landlords.

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 Fair Market Rent (FMR) for the area.

Households with missed or partially paid rent can receive assistance for all months of missed rent from March 13, 2020.

Yakima County has utilized several funding programs to continue to assist residents with rental assistance. Some rental assistance programs have limited the number of months to 15 or 18, based on the funding source in use at the time of approval.

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 Yakima County, Washington.
Final FY 2022 FMR By Unit Bedrooms
Year Efficiency One-Bedroom Two-Bedroom Three-Bedroom Four-Bedroom
FY 2022 FMR $772 $798 $1,050 $1,492 $1,607
FY 2021 FMR $722 $792 $1,044 $1,468 $1,595
FY 2020 FMR $685 $769 $1,013 $1,400 $1,555

No, a tenant must apply for assistance. However, a landlord can work with the tenant to provide as much documentation as possible to support the tenant applications. By using the landlord portal to provide documents listed on the landlord checklist, a landlord can support a tenant who has already applied.

FORWARD Online Application Tutorials

FORWARD Online Application Tutorials

4 Videos

Need Help? Reach Out to Our Community Partners

Yakima 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 Yakima County Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

1-509-853-1300 ext 1091
303 East D St., Suite 5 
Yakima WA, 98901

8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
8:00 AM -5:00 PM

1419 Hathaway St, Yakima WA, 98902

8:10 AM – 4:00 PM

102 S Naches Ave, Yakima WA 98901
617 Scoon Rd, Sunnyside WA, 98944

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

706 Renschler Ln, Toppenish WA, 98948

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

FORWARD is administering the Rental Assistance Program on behalf of Yakima 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.