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Information about KCHA and novel coronavirus (COVID-19), including office closures

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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

In addressing the rapidly changing situation with novel coronavirus (COVID-19), KCHA will rely on the guidance and direction of public health authorities, including Public Health — Seattle & King County.

We ask for your help in following the statewide Stay Home, Stay Healthy order that requires everyone in the state to stay home until April 6.

Office Closures

Our thoughts are with you, your families and friends, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. To protect the health and safety of staff, clients, and community partners, and to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus, we have closed public access and walk-in traffic at all KCHA office locations until further notice.

While we are limiting in-person access, staff will continue to be available by phone and email. If you are a resident in our public housing communities and have paperwork to drop off, please deposit it in the drop box located outside your management office for this purpose. Stay safe.

Common Tenant Questions

What should I do if my income decreases because of a job loss due to COVID-19?
Please fill out the income change form. If you live in public housing, fill out the Subsidized Housing income change form (PDF) and the income information sheet (PDF). If you have a Section 8 Voucher, fill out the Section 8 income change form (PDF). We are working to process these changes as fast as we can to make sure that a job loss won’t affect your ability to pay rent.

My income has decreased due to COVID-19. How soon will my rent go down?
We’ve temporarily changed our policy to help households who have lost income due to COVID-19. Tenants reporting a COVID-19 related loss of income prior to the end of the month are eligible for a decreased rent beginning on the 1st day of the month following the date the change was reported. You do not need to report changes by the 22nd of the month or wait 30 days to determine if income will be restored.

Will you still make Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) payments to my landlord?
Yes. This has not changed.

What’s the status of the Section 8 Waiting List?
Lottery applicants were notified of their waiting list status via printed letters and emails on March 31, 2020.

How can I submit forms to you?
The best option is to fill out forms electronically and email them to us. Alternatively, you can submit forms by mail. If neither mail nor email is an option, we have drop-boxes outside all of our offices where you can leave forms for us.

How can I contact the Section 8 Office or my assigned Section 8 staff member?
Although much of our staff is working remotely, they remain available by phone or email to help you. You may also reach your Section 8 representative through their main switchboard at 206-214-1300. As an additional measure, we have established a dedicated email address (S8help@kcha.org) to allow clients an alternate way to contact us with questions or to obtain information regarding programs and services.

How can I contact my Property Manager or Property Specialist?
Although our site offices are currently closed to the public, Property Managers and Specialists remain available to our residents by phone and email. View office contact information. You may also contact KCHA’s Central Office switchboard at 206-574-1100 for assistance in contacting your Property Management office.

Are you still taking work orders for public housing units?
Yes, we are taking work orders. However, we have temporarily placed a hold on all non-emergency work in order to ensure staff have time to address urgent health and safety issues. Maintenance staff will only be responding to emergency work orders (e.g., a burst pipe, a fire, gas leak, flooding, no power in unit) and will use the hygiene and social distancing practices recommended by the CDC. All other work orders will be logged and taken care of at a later date.

Are you still doing inspections?
Annual inspections for all KCHA properties and for the Section 8 program have been postponed until further notice. Move-in inspections for new families or current households transferring/moving to a new unit will continue as follows:

  • Public housing and KCHA-managed sites: KCHA will inspect the unit without the selected tenant present. The tenant will have the ability to inspect the unit upon move-in and report any noted conditions/repair needs to KCHA separately.
  • Section 8 program: We have temporarily modified our policy to allow landlords to allow to self-certify most units meet the Housing Quality Standards we require. Our inspectors will continue to complete move-in inspections for all single-family homes, converted duplexes, accessory dwelling units or units built prior to 1978 that have not been certified lead-free. Please contact your Section 8 Program Specialist to determine if the unit you have chosen qualifies for landlord certification.

Landlord Information

If your Section 8 voucher-assisted tenant can't pay their portion of the rent, please ask the tenant to contact their assigned Section 8 staff member for a recalculation of their subsidy if there has been a change in household income. Staff can be reached through their main switchboard at 206-214-1300 or by email at S8help@kcha.org.

Landlords can also approach the Department of Commerce for coverage on unpaid rents by subsidized families through the Landlord Mitigation Program.

Public Health Recommendations

Public Health — Seattle & King County have provided recommendations to help protect our community in more than a dozen languages:

Public Health — Seattle & King County have also prepared a series of guidelines for gatherings of children and youth while schools are closed.

The Washington State Department of Health has set up a call center to help answer your questions. For more information about what is happening in Washington, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, call 1-800-525-0127 and press #. You can also learn more about symptoms and testing on the Department of Health's website.

Financial Aid

Washington State's Employment Security Department has information about several services for workers affected by COVID-19, including unemployment benefits, paid sick leave, and paid family and medical leave.

The Department of Financial Institutions has posted a list of resources and guidance for Washington state residents experiencing trouble paying for rent, utilities, credit cards, or student loans.

The Department of Social and Health Services has temporarily expanded eligibility for its emergency assistance programs.

Food Assistance

All children up to 18 years of age are eligible to receive a free packed breakfast/lunch meal provided by school districts throughout King County. Children do not need to be enrolled in a particular school district, but they must be present to receive meals.

You can apply for Basic Food/SNAP/EBT assistance through the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.

For additional help feeding yourself or your family, visit the Food Lifeline website to find a partner food bank, food pantry, or hot meal program in your neighborhood. This food is free and available even if you don't qualify for Basic Food/SNAP/EBT.

Child Care

Although the Governor has closed schools statewide until April 27 at the earliest, child care facilities are allowed to remain open.

Child Care Aware, an independent organization that provides information and support for families seeking child care, has a current list of local community options for child care. You can use their online child care referral search to look for options, or call them at 1-800-446-1114.

You can also use the Family, Friends & Neighbor program website, or call them 1-866-482-4325.

Health Care

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange has opened a special enrollment period for individuals without health insurance that runs through April 8. Learn more about the special enrollment period find answers to frequently asked questions related to COVID-19.

Washington State's Office of the Insurance Commissioner has posted answers to frequently asked questions about health insurance and COVID-19.

Learn more about what Medicare covers and what Medicaid covers related to COVID-19.

The CDC have posted information and guidance about mental health and coping during COVID-19. If you are experiencing crisis, need resources, or are struggling with other challenges, Crisis Connections is still open and available to help.

Anti-Discrimination

Misinformation about coronavirus can create fear and hostility that hurts people and makes it harder to keep everyone healthy. Public Health — Seattle & King County has created a collection of anti-stigma resources for reporting discrimination and understanding workplace rights and responsibilities.

The Public Health Insider blog has additional guidance on stopping racism fueled by COVID-19 fear.

Additional Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published a video outlining simple steps for infection prevention and good hygiene to help prevent the spread of coronavirus:

Printable posters and handouts are also available from the CDC.

Main Office
600 Andover Park W.
Tukwila, WA 98188
Tel: (206) 574‑1100
Fax: (206) 574‑1104
TDD: (800) 833‑6388
Directions

Section 8 Office
700 Andover Park W.
Tukwila, WA 98188
Tel: (206) 214‑1300
Fax: (206) 243‑5927
Directions