CLARK COUNTY, Wash. — People with low income who have been impacted by the pandemic in Clark County can apply for financial assistance to help pay rent, including overdue rent payments, and utilities. The applications for rent assistance go live at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
There are 400 new applications for assistance available through the county, but the applications are for first-time assistance only. Households that have already received rent assistance from Clark County aren't eligible to apply, county officials said.
"As of right now, we are not accepting any reapplications," said Michael Torres, a program manager with Clark County Community Services. Torres said the county may consider allowing households to reapply in the future but won't do that until the demand for first-time assistance declines.
Torres said households who have received assistance in the past get help for 12 months, and those households have received an average of $8,000 in rent and utility payments. He said he understands some families fall behind again, depending on their individual situations, but he said the demand for first-time assistance is still too high to let people reapply for assistance at this time.
The links to fill out applications can be found below. They go live at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 and will close once the 400 applications are gone.
Potential applicants without internet can call 360-695-9677. Those without phone or internet can access applications through Share Fromhold Service Center at 2306 Northeast Endresen Road in Vancouver, across the street from WinCo.
Torres said people seeking assistance should be ready to go right at 6 p.m.
"What I would advise households that need that assistance is to be at the computer or be at Fromhold Center or be on the phone right at 6 p.m., because our experience has been — especially if it's 400 applications — they will be filled up with half an hour most likely. That just the reality," he said.
Torres said many households who try to apply Wednesday night won't get through because of the high demand. But he advised those families to not give up, to keep trying when new applications open up, which happens about every two weeks.
The next round of applications will be made available on Wednesday, Dec. 15 and the round after that will happen on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Applications for additional assistance will continue to open up about every two weeks after that, Torres said.
"We know that the urgency is real, the crisis is real, and we're doing everything we can to get as much assistance to as many people as we can in as short an amount of time as possible," Torres said. "So don't lose hope. Keep trying. Keep applying, and the assistance will eventually arrive."
As of late November, Clark County has allocated $30.9 million in rent assistance to 3,987 households, paying for 33,634 months of rent and utilities since August 2020.