September 2022 Newsletter
ALL EHA OFFICES WILL BE CLOSED MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, IN OBSERVANCE OF LABOR DAY.
My commitment to you as our primary customers is to ensure that you live in some of the best properties in your neighborhood. To that end, we have invested over $100 million over a 10-year period to improve or replace aging buildings. Over the next 10 years, we will focus on providing additional quality housing opportunities focusing our efforts on those neighborhoods that provide the most benefits. We are particularly committed to developing or buying new properties in and providing access to neighborhoods where families and children can thrive. In particular, the neighborhoods must have:
- Good Schools
- Green Space/Parks
- Access to Healthcare Facilities
- Stores with Fresh Food
- Job Opportuntities
- Community Supports
We believe that if you take advantage of living in one of these neighborhoods, your families, especially your children will benefit over the long term. They will be better educated, have higher paying jobs, and be healthier over the long term. I want you to consider planning to move with your voucher, if you receive one, to such opportunity neighborhoods. Let your EHA specialist know that you are interested in exploring such opportunities for you and your family.
Do you know someone in need of housing? EHA is excited to open the Project Based Voucher waiting lists to families and elderly and disabled applicants for the following communities:
- Bakerview Apartments
- Grandview Apartments
- Pineview Apartments
- Wiggums Place Apartments
- Broadway Plaza Apartments
- Madrona Square (NEW!)
The waitlists will remain open until September 30, 2022 at 5PM. Applications may only be submitted through our on-line application system and will be ordered by date and time.
Whether you’re ready to move now, or are thinking about it for the future, you’ll have the tools and documents ready so you can confidently find your next place to call home.
Tip: Create a Rental Portfolio
A Rental Portfolio can be a wonderful resource to have all your information right at your fingertips, as well as being a great way to tell a potential landlord all about you. To get your portfolio started, here are some of the most requested documents that landlords and property managers ask for:
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s License
- Income Source (i.e. paystubs, social security award letter)
- Rental History (for the last 5 years)
- Employment History (e.g. a resume)
- Professional and Personal References
- Bank Statements (show the last two months)
- Credit and Criminal History
- Vehicle Registration and Proof of Insurance (especially if you’ll need a parking spot)
Print out these documents – have a few copies on hand – and put them in a folder or binder. Label them so they are easy to locate and reference. When meeting with a landlord or property manager, bring this binder/folder and provide to them if requested.
Resource: Email and Phone Scripts
When reaching out to a landlord or property manager, it can be a bit nerve-wracking. We have a few scripts that can help ease this process. Click here to view email and phone scripts that you can utilize when reaching out to landlords and property managers.
Tip: Communicate with the Landlord or Property Manager
Do you have a questions about the new property? Maybe you’re meeting with your potential new landlord? Landlords want to know that you will pay your rent on time and take good care of their property. Therefore, it is important to put your best foot forward, especially when making that first impression. Here are a few tips to help you stand out:
- Be prepared – Bring your Rental Portfolio with you so you’ll have copies of all the documents on hand that they might ask for! This will also help you fill out your rental application.
- Be on time – Nothing says you’re reliable than arriving on time (or a few minutes early) for your appointment. However, sometime life happens (traffic, getting off work late). If you’re running late, give the landlord a call to let them know.
- Dress to impress – Treat meeting a landlord like a job interview. Your clothes should be neat and tidy. Avoid clothes with rips and tears, pajamas, and exercise clothes.
- Sell yourself – Be pleasant and courteous whenever you talk to a landlord. Be prepared to talk about any issues on your credit or background. It helps to have personal or rental references ready to give the landlord (which you can have readily available in your handy Rental Portfolio!).
When moving in, landlords regularly collect deposits – security, damage, and pet deposits. Sometimes, a landlord may collect a deposit to reserve the unit for a prospective tenant. In all cases, the landlord must provide a written agreement that states the deposit amount, the terms, and conditions around this deposit and how what part of this money is refundable.
Security vs Damage Deposit
A security deposit is a deposit to secure fulfillment of all the terms of a lease. A damage deposit can be used to cover the cost of physical damages to the unit caused by the tenants or guests of the tenants, and any monetary damages against your landlord as a result of the tenancy (such as unpaid back rent).
Where does your deposit go?
While you are living in the unit, RCW 59.18.270 requires that the landlord must put all security or damage deposit money into a trust account, a bank, or licensed escrow agent in Washington state. The landlord must provide the tenant with a written receipt for the deposit and the name and address of the depository. If there is a change in the depository, the landlord must inform the tenant.
When do you get your deposit back?
Landlords have 21 days from the time the rental agreement ends and the tenant vacates the unit to postmark the return of the deposit or a written statement detailing why portions of the deposit were withheld (in accordance with RCW 59.18.280). The landlord will send the letter or deposit check to the forwarding address the tenant provided or to their last known address (which is usually the property that was just vacated). If they do not return the deposit money or a statement detailing why it is being withheld within the 21-day timeframe (they can postmark a letter on the 21st day), they have waived their right to keep the deposit.
The Tenants Union has a great FAQ page all about deposits and can be viewed by clicking here.
The state of Washington has passed a law that makes it illegal for landlords in the state to discriminate against tenants and would-be tenants based on their source of income, including using a housing voucher to pay part of their rent. A landlord cannot refuse to rent to you because of the source of your income, cannot charge you more rent than someone who does not get benefits, tell you the unit is not available when it is, or advertise a property for rent only for tenant with certain types of income.
Under the new law, a landlord can only require you to meet the income requirements for your portion of the rent. For example, you have a Section 8 voucher and are applying for an apartment. The landlord requires you to have an income 2-3 times more than the rent amount. This would only apply to the portion of the rent that you are responsible for, not the portion that is covered by the housing authority. If a unit is renting for $1,000 a month and your voucher will cover $600 of the rent, your portion is $400. Two times your portion is $800. Therefore, you would need a monthly income of $800 to qualify.
More information can be found on Washington Law Help: https://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/resource/tenants-new-legal-protection-from-discrimination-based-on-source-of-income
Most properties have moved to online listings when having available units. The Everett Housing Authority has partnered with affordablehousing.com, which provides an enhanced program to list rental properties online. Listings are available to potential Housing Choice Voucher tenants seeking apartment units, duplexes, single-family homes or townhomes in the private market. View available listings by visiting: https://www.affordablehousing.com/
What is MTW and how does it apply to me?
In 2021, Everett Housing Authority (EHA) joined a select group of housing authorities around the country who are part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) MTW program. While the official acronym stands for “Moving to Work,” “Making Things Work” better explains what we can do in this program. As a participant in the MTW demonstration, EHA can propose and implement alternatives to federal regulations that use Federal funding more efficiently, help residents find employment and become self-sufficient, and increase housing choices for low-income families.
If you are part of the Tiered Rent study group (most non-elderly, non-disabled households), you will be invited to attend a meeting where we will explain the tiered rent policy and how it may impact you. Through the MTW program, we are evaluating and submitting waivers on an annual basis. One of those waivers that was approved for 2022 is for asset verification. Current rules require us to verify your assets if they are over $5,000, but with this waiver we will only need to verify your assets if they are over $50,000. As we move forward with MTW, other changes may apply to you and we will continue to post updates and news on our website: http://www.evha.org/mtw.
If you have a newly Kinder-age child or have just moved into a new school district, now is the time to register your child or children. Click on the school district for more information:
Snohomish County has a few places around Everett that offers free clothes and school supplies for the upcoming school year.
The school district can provide some assistance:
Everett School District | 4730 Colby Ave, Everett, WA | (425) 385-4000
Mukilteo School District | 9401 Sharon Dr., Everett, WA | (425) 356-1209
Catholic Community Services of Western Washington and Snohomish County | 1918 Everett Ave., Everett, WA | (425) 257-2111
Offers baby clothes, diapers, and more to pregnant women in need' basic household furniture for low-income households moving to a new home.
Assistance League of Everett | 5107 Evergreen Way, Everett, WA
Offers assistance with high school graduation expenses.
Pathways for Women - YWCA | 3301 Broadway Ave., Everett, WA | (425) 258-2766
Working Wardrobe program provides women with up to four outfits for work or job interviews.
Pregnancy Aid of Snohomish County
2913 W. Marine View Dr., Everett, WA | (425) 252-6444
819 100th Pl. SE, Suite B, Everett, WA | (425) 316-8929
Provides maternity, infant, toddler, and preschool clothes and diapers.
Saint Vincent De Paul - Snohomish County Council | 6424 Broadway Ave., Everett, WA | (425) 355-3504
Offers free food and clothes; school supplies; and birthday and Christmas toys for low-income children.
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) was created by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to help connect families and household struggling to afford internet service. HUD-assisted families automatically qualify for ACP and the subsidy is not considered income for the purpose of determining program eligibility or household rent.
The benefit provides:
- Up to $30/month discount for internet service
- Up to $75/month discount for household on qualifying Tribal lands
- A one-time discount o f up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider
A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member of the household meets at least one of the following criteria:
- Participates in any of the following assistance programs: SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance (this includes housing vouchers and project-based assistance, as well as HCV and Section 202 PBRA properties), Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline
- Participates in any of the following Tribal specific programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, or Tribal Head Start (income based)
- Participates in the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating broadband provider's existing low-income internet program
This is a great resource for families and individuals alike! The internet can be utilized for finding housing, helping with homework, job searches, and more.
HOW TO ENROLL:
- Go to AffordableConnectivity.gov to submit an application or print a mail-in application
- Contact your preferred participating provider to select an eligible plan and have the discount applied to your bill. Some providers may have an alternative application that they will ask you to complete.
Eligible household must both apply for the program and contact a participating provider to select a service plan.
Fun in the Sun Day | Saturday, September 3 | Legion Memorial Park | 10AM-2PM
Bring awareness to mental health and reduce stigma by meeting new friends in the park! DDA meeting will begin at 12PM. Open to everyone. Hosted by Dual Diagnosis Anonymous: https://allevents.in/everett/fun-in-the-sun-day/200023079394714
Transition to Motherhood | Tuesdays, September 6-October 11 | Pregnancy Resource Center of Snohomish County | 10:30AM-12PM
Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/transition-to-motherhood-septoct-tickets-340058613467
For new mothers adjusting to life with babies, 6 months and under.
Motherhood can be an isolating time, but we want to help. Join us as we share and explore the transition to motherhood. Each week, we will unpack all the changes that can occur in our heart, mind, body and relationships during this season of life.
Expecting Your Miracle | Wednesdays, September 7-October 19 | Pregnancy Resource Center of Snohomish County | 10:30AM-12PM
Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/expecting-your-miracle-septoct-tickets-344347240867
For first time parents or those who have not had classes in the past 5 years.
This seven-week class series covers all the information you need to know to prepare for the birth of your baby and adjust to motherhood.
Mobile Bike Clinic | Tuesday, September 13 | Everett Public Library Evergreen Branch | 3-6PM
Drop or wheel by for free bicycle repairs! Volunteer bike mechanics from Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop will be on site to repair your bike for you or help you do your own basic repairs. Repair slots are limited to half an hour. Issues mechanics can help with include (but are not limited to) flat tires, broken chains, crooked handlebars, weird sounds, and sticky brakes.
Wills for Seniors | Saturday, September 17 | 2920 Colby Ave., Ste. 102 | 9:30AM-12:30PM
Snohomish County Legal Services (SCLS) is hosting a Wills for Seniors Clinic for qualifying Snohomish County residents. At this FREE legal clinic, you will consult with an attorney and leave with an executed copy of a Last Will and Testament, a Healthcare Directive, and a Financial Durable Power of Attorney.
Must call to see if you qualify: 425-258-9283 ext. 0