- State Data Overview
Across Washington, there is a shortage of rental homes affordable and available to extremely low income households (ELI), whose incomes are at or below the poverty guideline or 30% of their area median income (AMI). Many of these households are severely cost burdened, spending more than half of their income on housing. Severely cost burdened poor households are more likely than other renters to sacrifice other necessities like healthy food and healthcare to pay the rent, and to experience unstable housing situations like evictions.KeyFacts229,295Or21%Renter households that are extremely low income$28,490Maximum income for 4-person extremely low income household (state level)-157,461Shortage of rental homes affordable and available for extremely low income renters$60,966Annual household income needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home at HUD's Fair Market Rent.68%Percent of extremely low income renter households with severe cost burden
- State Level Partners
Become an NLIHC State Partner
NLIHC’s affiliation with our state coalition partners is central to our advocacy efforts. Although our partners' involvement varies, they are all housing and homeless advocacy organizations engaged at the state and federal level. Many are traditional coalitions with a range of members; others are local organizations that serve more informally as NLIHC's point of contact.
Inquire about becoming a state partner by contacting [email protected]
- Housing Trust FundHTF Implementation Information
NLIHC continues working with leaders in each state and the District of Columbia who will mobilize advocates in support of HTF allocation plans that benefit ELI renters to the greatest extent possible. Please contact the point person coordinating with NLIHC in your state (below) to find out about the public participation process and how you can be involved. Email Joseph Lindstrom with any questions.Current Year HTF Allocation
$4,740,488HTF State Resources
Draft Annual Action Plan (PDF)
Annual Action Plan (PDF)
2017 NHTF awards (PDF)
State Housing Profile
Congressional District Housing Profile
Research and Data
National Housing Preservation Database
The National Housing Preservation Database is an address-level inventory of federally assisted rental housing in the United States.
Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing
The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes
- Take Action
- COVID-19 ResourcesCOVID-19 Resources
The King County’s homeless system has seen 445 cases of COVID-19 since March, with most of those cases occurring in the spring. Cases in Kings County have spiked in August, especially at homeless shelters. The Harborview Hall shelter in Seattle has seen 27 COVID-19 cases since the beginning of August.
A letter to the editor in the Kitsap Sun urges the Senate and White House to quickly enact a coronavirus relief package that includes emergency rental assistance and an eviction moratorium.
Updated on September 2, 2020.
In response to COVID-19 and its economic fallout, many cities and states are creating or expanding rental assistance programs to support individuals and families impacted by the pandemic, and NLIHC is tracking in-depth information on these programs.
You can use the interactive map and searchable database to find state and local emergency rental assistance programs near you. You can also see the latest news on rental assistance programs through the state-by-state news tracker. Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all rental assistance programs as we continue to update frequently. If you are aware of a program not included in our database, please contact [email protected].
Across the country, homeless service providers are struggling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to follow public health guidelines and help ensure people’s safety, some shelters are being forced to reduce services, restrict admittance, or close entirely. The loss of these critical resources puts people experiencing homelessness at even higher risk of illness. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of shelter closings.
Below is a list of shelters that have had to majorly alter services or completely close:
Freezing Nights, the only overnight shelter program outside of Tacoma (in that county), announced Monday it would suspend shelter services this year.
The only daytime center in East Pierce County, the New Hope Resource Center, has reduced daily hours to 12 to 3 p.m.
In the Seattle area, three homeless shelters operated by Union Gospel Mission closed on March 27, leaving 270 people quarantined inside the shelters for two weeks.
The Seattle Times reports advocates for tenants and landlords sent a joint letter to King County Executive Dow Constantine on September 2 urging him to make immediate changes to the county’s emergency rental assistance (ERA) program. The letter urges the county to “immediately remove barriers and artificial delays to the program” by complying with Treasury’s revised guidance.
Washington State’s COVID-19 utility moratorium ends on September 30. State leaders are urging customers who are behind on energy and water bills to contact their utilities as soon as possible and make a plan to keep their services on. State officials and utility operators estimate more than 500,000 Washingtonians have overdue bills that could result in utility shut-off. Learn about available utility assistance.
Updated on September 14, 2021
Governor Jay Inslee released a housing stability bridge proclamation, intended to bridge the gap between the expired eviction moratorium and new protections and programs created by the state legislature. The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance is reminding residents that this is not an extension of the eviction moratorium. See this graphic for more information.
Governor Jay Inslee announced on June 24 an extension of the statewide eviction moratorium through September 30. Under the new order, landlords will be prohibited from evicting tenants for past-due rent accrued during the pandemic until an emergency rental assistance (ERA) program and eviction-resolution program are operating in their county. Starting August 1, renters will be expected to pay full rent, unless they have negotiated an alternative plan with their landlord or are seeking ERA. Under the new order, landlords must offer tenants a repayment plan before the eviction process is initiated.
A petition organized by the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance is calling on Governor Inslee to reassess his quarterly approach to extending the state’s eviction moratorium. The petition, which includes signatures from about 150 housing and homelessness organizations, asks Governor Inslee’s office to make the eviction moratorium permanent and instead enact a plan to repeal the moratorium on a county-by-county basis if those counties meet certain criteria.
Updated on July 15, 2021
The Spokesman-Review reports the city of Spokane has opened $6 million in federal rental assistance, as the state and federal eviction moratoriums are set to expire on June 30. The city’s rental assistance funding is divided among programs focused on different groups of renters within city borders – any household; households with minor children at risk of homelessness; landlords; and Black, Indigenous and people of color.
Updated on June 14, 2021
Seattle housing advocates are voicing concern about a potential tsunami of evictions when the state eviction moratorium expires at the end of June. Solid Ground, a Seattle-based organization that provides services to tenants in need, is warning that the end of Washington’s eviction moratorium could have wide-ranging, severe consequences for the Greater Seattle area.
The Seattle Times reports that King County will buy several hotels in the coming weeks to convert into permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness. The goal is to house 1,600 people in hotels by the end of 2022.
Updated on June 4, 2021
The Seattle Times and Business Insider report that Washington is the first state in the U.S. to guarantee lawyers for low-income tenants facing eviction. Governor Jay Inslee signed a right to counsel guarantee as part of a larger bill aimed at preventing evictions when the federal eviction moratorium expires on June 30. The new law ensures free access to legal aid for tenants who receive public assistance or who have incomes 200% of the federal poverty level or below.
Updated on May 3, 2021
The Yakima Herald reports that local advocates are bracing for a surge in homelessness when Washington state’s eviction moratorium expires on June 30, 2021. Yakima’s pre-existing affordable housing shortage is exacerbating the current housing crisis.
Updated on April 17, 2021
Governor Jay Inslee extended Washington state’s eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan on March 15 extended the city’s eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021. Extending the eviction moratorium provides housing stability for residents as new federal rent relief funds are distributed. In addition to the current proposal for $23 million for rental assistance, the City of Seattle has committed $18 million to rental assistance in addition to state and King County resources for landlords and tenants.
After weeks of disputes between Mayor Jenny Durkan and members of the Seattle City Council over whether the city would expand non-congregate shelter and rely on FEMA reimbursement to cover the costs, the city council unanimously approved $12 million to lease 200 hotel rooms and build some tiny homes to provide shelter to people experiencing homelessness. Seattle will seek reimbursement from FEMA for eligible costs and will pay for the remaining costs using funds from the American Rescue Plan or 2022 budget process. King County officials are also hoping FEMA will reimburse the more than 400 hotel rooms they have been operating during the pandemic.
Updated on March 31, 2021
King County Superior Court Judge Johanna Bender rejected a landlord group’s challenge to three Seattle laws meant to protect renters from eviction when the COVID-19 eviction moratorium expires.
Updated on March 01, 2021
The Spokesman-Review estimates thousands of renters in Spokane County could face eviction when Washington’s moratorium is lifted on March 31. In December and January, landlords in Spokane County filed eviction notices on 550 households. The Spokane County Bar Association estimates the county could see more than 2,000 eviction filings a month when the moratorium ends.
Updated on February 22, 2021
Washington state lawmakers are scrambling to pass relief to avoid mass evictions when the state’s eviction moratorium expires on March 31. In addition to providing financial assistance, some Democratic lawmakers are proposing an informal package of bills that would freeze rent hikes, require housing providers to have a “just cause” to evict, guarantee a right to counsel for tenants facing eviction, and prevent rental debt from making it more difficult to obtain housing in the future.
Updated on February 17, 2021
The Seattle Times reports that Washington lawmakers are seeking to end the eviction moratorium, while preventing a tsunami of evictions once it is lifted. The lawmakers are split on how to do so. While some have proposed a package of bills that could assist struggling renters, others are seeking to permanently alter the power dynamic between tenants and landlords.
Police in Olympia arrested seven individuals and removed dozens of homeless activists who were occupying a downtown hotel to secure housing for individuals experiencing homelessness. The group, Oly Housing Now, called on the Thurston County Health Department to apply for FEMA reimbursement for non-congregate sheltering.
Updated on February 08, 2021
The Seattle Times discusses President Biden’s housing plan and how it could impact Seattle’s homelessness crisis. NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel says that with Democrats in control of the White House, Senate, and House, President Biden’s plan to make housing assistance an entitlement is achievable.
Updated on February 01, 2021
Wisconsin housing advocates are hopeful about President Biden’s plan to extend the federal eviction moratorium and $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal that would include additional housing and homelessness resources. Evictions in Milwaukee County, however, are moving forward, with 130 eviction filings for the week of January 4 through January 8.
A coalition of Wisconsin advocates – the Rural and Urban Communities United in Solidarity Coalition, North Side Rising, Our Wisconsin Revolution, and Rise Wisconsin – started a petition urging state leaders to enact a statewide eviction moratorium and provide critical housing resources. Between 35,000 and 75,000 Wisconsin households are at risk of eviction when the CDC moratorium is lifted.
Updated on January 25, 2021
A low-income housing provider in North Idaho has agreed to pay $50,000 after evidence revealed that the company illegally threatened Spokane County tenants with eviction in April 2020, violating Governor Jay Inslee’s eviction ban.
Updated on January 25, 2021
While Washington’s eviction moratorium is in place through March 31, advocates are concerned about the lack of a comprehensive plan to address the full rent and consumer debt tenants have accumulated during COVID-19. Approximately 60,000 to 140,000 Washington residents are at risk of eviction or mortgage default. The COVID-19 relief package enacted by Congress provides $25 billion in emergency rental assistance, but experts warn it is far from enough to meet the overwhelming need.
Rachael Myers of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance co-authored an op-ed in Crosscut outlining the urgent need for Washington legislators to address the impending but entirely preventable tsunami of evictions. The authors urge the governor to extend the state’s eviction moratorium to allow legislators to put longer-term solutions into place.
Updated on January 15, 2021
A coalition of organizations is rushing to place individuals experiencing homelessness into hotels directly from the street using federal CARES Act funding that expires at the end of the year. King County allocated $4 million to the effort, called JustCARES, but the program is unlikely to spend the full amount before the deadline.
With federal relief money running out and Congress stalled on another stimulus package, Washington state lawmakers and housing officials fear a wave of evictions and an increase in homelessness in the coming months.
A dispute between King County government officials and Renton city leaders about a Renton hotel currently housing people experiencing homelessness has escalated. While county leaders state that housing nearly 250 formerly homeless individuals at the hotel has been critical to slowing the spread of coronavirus, city officials argue that it has increased crime in the area.
Mary’s Place, a shelter in Seattle, is bracing for a rise in homelessness as the eviction moratorium nears its end. Mary’s Place started a rapid response fund as part of their annual “No Child Sleeps Outside” campaign to help families move quickly back into safe housing or remain housed during the pandemic.
Updated on December 9, 2020
The Seattle Times reports that King County in partnership with the city of Seattle is opening a homeless shelter that will house nearly 300 people. According to Leo Flor, director of King County’s Department of Community and Human Services, the shelter will be able to house individuals temporarily residing in hotels when federal coronavirus relief expires at the end of the year.
Cowlitz County homeless service providers are bracing for a sharp increase in evictions when the statewide eviction moratorium expires at the end of the year.
Despite Washington’s statewide eviction moratorium, renters continue to be evicted amid the pandemic. Nearly 40 people were evicted through the King County court system in October.
Updated on November 17, 2020
The Washington Department of Commerce launched the Washington COVID-19 Immigration Relief Fund. Immigrants who are not eligible for federal financial relief or unemployment insurance can receive a $1,000 one-time direct payment (up to $3,000 per household). Check out the Partner Outreach Toolkit.
Updated on November 4, 2020
Early findings from a study of King County’s initiative to move people out of shelters and into hotel rooms demonstrate the efforts helped slow the transmission of the coronavirus. Individuals who moved to area hotels also reported improved physical and mental health, as well as the ability to focus on long-term goals rather than solely focusing on day-to-day survival.
Updated on October 26, 2020
Governor Jay Inslee extended Washington’s statewide eviction moratorium through the end of the year.
Updated on October 19, 2020
The Bellingham Herald examines housing advocates’ concerns that without additional eviction protections and resources, Washington will see a surge of evictions and increased homelessness. The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance continues urging state officials to extend the eviction moratorium, currently set to expire on October 15, to March 2021 and couple the moratorium with significant rental assistance.
Updated on October 14, 2020
In an article in Becker’s Hospital Review, the president and CEO of Catholic Charities Eastern Washington discusses why mass evictions will cause a healthcare crisis in addition to a homelessness crisis.
Updated on September 29, 2020
Several Seattle landlords have filed lawsuits against eviction moratoriums enacted by the city and state of Washington. Governor Jay Inslee extended a statewide moratorium on residential evictions through October 15, and Mayor Jenny Durkan extended an order from March prohibiting Seattle landlords from evicting residents through December 31.
Updated on September 22, 2020
A motel voucher program run by Snoqualmie Valley Shelter Services to provide shelter for people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic has demonstrated the effectiveness of the housing first model.
Updated on September 15, 2020
WAMU explains what the CDC’s eviction moratorium means for tenants and landlords in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. The article discusses advocates’ concerns about the new order, linking to tweets about the action from NLIHC’s Diane Yentel.
Updated on September 10, 2020
As fall approaches, COVID-19 cases are rising among people experiencing homelessness in King County. According to the latest point in time count, 64% of people experiencing homelessness in the county have one or more health conditions, increasing their vulnerability to the coronavirus.
Updated on September 10, 2020.
King County launched a $41.4 million rental assistance and eviction prevention program in partnership with community organizations. The county is accepting interest forms from tenants, small landlords, large property landlords and managers, manufactured home park owners and managers, and local nonprofits who wish to participate in the program.
Updated on August 25, 2020.
A letter to the editor in the Spokesman-Review urges people to contact their senators and demand that they pass the critical provisions in the House-passed HEROES Act. The author also asks Representative McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) to encourage Senate Republicans to enact the rent relief, eviction moratorium, unemployment assistance, and other relief funds that were included in the HEROES Act.
Updated on August 19, 2020.
The Washington State Department of Commerce announced on August 3 that it is distributing approximately $100 million in CARES Act funding to community agencies that will operate rental assistance programs.
Updated on August 13, 2020.
Federal CARES Act assistance, including the supplemental $600 unemployment assistance, has helped thousands of Washington residents from falling under the federal poverty level. “If we hadn’t had that $600, we’d be homeless,” said one Washington resident. The supplemental unemployment benefit expires July 31, and the Senate Republican proposal released this week would reduce the extra benefit.
Urge your legislators to enact the critical housing and homelessness priorities in the HEROES Act and the “Emergency Housing Protections Relief Act of 2020” in the next coronavirus relief package through the Washington Housing Alliance’s action portal.
Updated on August 4, 2020.
Seattle is allocating $13 million from the Washington State Department of Commerce COVID-19 Emergency Housing Grant to help people experiencing homelessness amid the pandemic.
Updated on July 28, 2020.
Legislators, housing advocates, and tenants are hopeful that Governor Jay Inslee will extend Washington’s moratorium, which is currently set to expire August 1. While the state has earmarked $100 million from the CARES to provide rental assistance, advocates argue that this is not enough to prevent a massive wave of evictions.
The Seattle Medium highlighted findings from NLIHC’s Out of Reach 2020 report and discussed advocates’ concerns about how the pandemic will impact low-income renters. “COVID-19, job losses, and rent burden are all hitting Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities the hardest. Without bold action from Congress and the state, thousands of people will lose their homes, homelessness will spike, and communities already struggling will be harmed the most,” said Rachael Myers, executive director of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, an NLIHC state partner.
Updated on July 20, 2020.
Survey data reveals that nearly one in five Seattle-area renters doubt they can afford their July rent.
Updated on July 7, 2020.
Pierce County granted the city of Puyallup and local nonprofits $461,834 in federal CARES Act funding, which will be used to provide sanitation and hygiene supplies for people experiencing homelessness and rental assistance to households on the brink of becoming homeless.
Updated on June 29, 2020.
Governor Jay Inslee announced on June 4 that Washington has enough COVID-19 tests to expand testing to new populations, including those living in congregate settings, such as agricultural sites, long-term care facilities, low-income housing, and homeless shelters.
The Grays Harbor County Board of Health decided that the temporary encampment behind Aberdeen City Hall does not qualify as a necessary public health response to COVID-19 and, as a result, does not qualify for any of the $390,000 that the state provided the county for housing relief.
Updated on June 12, 2020.
The Lewis County Board of Commissioners approved $220,000 in funding to shelter people experiencing homelessness, with $120,000 stemming from COVID-19 relief funds distributed by the state Department of Commerce and $100,000 from federal CARES Act funding.
Advocacy groups in Washington are urging Governor Jay Inslee to extend the state’s temporary bans on utility cutoffs and evictions, which are set to expire next week. The state moratorium on utilities expires June 4, and Washington’s eviction moratorium expires June 1. Rachael Myers of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, an NLIHC state partner, expressed concerns that without an eviction moratorium and rental assistance, the state will experience significant increases in evictions and homelessness.
Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler announced that additional federal funds for the Bremerton COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program have been made available. An additional $268,383 from the CARES Act was allocated to the city, and the council approved spending the funds on a rental assistance program.
A King County press release announced that COVID-19 cases among people experiencing homelessness are rising. Seattle and King County reported 112 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among people experiencing homelessness or working in homeless service sites.
According to data released by the Department of Human Services, COVID-19 is impacting how Seattle’s Navigation Team is approaching homelessness. The Navigation Team is focused on a public health approach rather than moving people experiencing homelessness into shelters. They are acting under a policy that restricts sweeping encampments during the pandemic.
President Trump approved a major disaster declaration for Washington State unlocking additional resources for Coronavirus response.
Washington’s Department of Commerce is dispensing emergency housing grants to each county in the state. Each county will receive at least $250,000.
Kitsap County in Washington will be opening two additional facilities to assist individuals experiencing homelessness that tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting results. One of the centers will be designated for families.
Approximately, 11,100 people in the Seattle area do not have homes, and, in many cases, access to basic hygiene services. City and county efforts have focused on three areas: opening new overnight shelters to decrease crowding in existing shelters, creating isolation, quarantine and recovery units, and installing additional hygiene services for people living outside.
In Seattle, twenty-seven people living in the 12 King County homeless shelters have tested positive for COVID-19. While the number of new cases in the general population has dropped, the county public health department believes the outbreak has not yet peaked among the homeless population.
Washington State Department of Commerce announced $5 million in emergency grants is now available to the 29 federally recognized tribes in the state to bolster their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Seattle City Council is introducing an emergency budget amendment to more narrowly define when encampments can be removed during the pandemic. This comes after a recent removal of an encampment in Ballard.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced on May 11 the allocation of nearly $4 million in federal CARES Act Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV), Emergency Solutions Grants, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS funding to provide rental assistance.
The Olympia City Council allocated $310,000 of more than $1.1 million of CDBG funds to shelter, housing and human services programs. Of the total amount, $110,000 will fund the homeless response coordinator position, $100,000 for mitigation site hygiene, and $100,000 for the Downtown Ambassadors program. Olympia received $237,383 in supplemental CDBG funds as part of the CARES Act, as well as carried $580,000 of FY19 funds into this year. The city will gain access to $350,000 of its regular 2020 allocation in September.
King County launched a new modular pilot shelter in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood as part of its efforts to reduce density in congregate shelters. The modular shelter offers safe housing, 24/7 on-site access to health and behavioral health care, showers and laundry facilities, and meals.
Seattle's Downtown Emergency Service Center has successfully met the CDC guidelines for social distancing throughout their shelter programs while maintaining the same daily availability of 508 beds. They have shared their preparation and action strategies with the public.
Federal, state, and local eviction moratoriums are rapidly expiring and the CARES Act supplemental unemployment benefits will end soon; at that time, millions of low-income renters will be at risk of losing their homes. The NLIHC estimates at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is needed to keep low-income renters stably housed during and after the pandemic. This tracker links to news reports of the growing evictions crisis in various cities and states. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of eviction updates.
Current eviction protections over all tenants except in cases of emergency. Landlords are required to over payment plans for renters if they are behind on rent. Landlords cannot initiate evictions, and law enforcement cannot executive eviction orders except in case of emergency. But hearings are still happening, and judgements are not stayed.
Updated: August 1
In the third week of July, 1 in 5 adults in Washington reported they had missed their previous housing payment or had little confidence they would make their next one on time, according to a weekly survey conducted by the Census. In the same survey, over a quarter of a million renters reported they had not paid their previous rental payment.
Updated: July 29
According to a weekly survey by the Census, 1 in 5 adults in the state either missed their last housing payment or have little/no confidence of being able to make next month’s housing payment.
One in 5 renters in Seattle doubt they can make July’s rent.
Updated: July 16COVID-19 Resources Other
What to Know About Housing and Rent During the COVID-19 Emergency? https://tinyurl.com/y74ox85d
Arbor Realty Trust launched an innovative $2 million rental assistance program to help thousands of tenants and families significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Arbor is contributing $1 million to the program and participating borrowers will match Arbor's advances to its tenants in need to help fill the rent gap during the hard-hit months of May and June. Together, the partnership program will provide $2 million in relief. https://tinyurl.com/y9r6x9vb