Latest Update from King County Councilmember Zahilay
April 4, 2020
Hello, everyone. Your King County Councilmember here. Our team will continue to compile and update a list of resources and information for you in one place. Please do share broadly and have people email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and comments.
HOMEOWNERS COULD GET HELP IF THEY CAN’T MAKE THEIR MORTGAGES DUE TO COVID-19 ECONOMIC IMPACTS Gov. Inslee shared Wednesday that the state had issued guidance to mortgage companies to work with homeowners who may not be able to make their mortgage payments, including offering forbearance. You can find more information here, including tips on how to work with your mortgage servicer. https://dfi.wa.gov/homeownership PROPERTY TAX DEADLINE PUSHED TO JUNE 1 In response to the financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, individual King County property taxpayers will have extra time to make their first-half property tax payments in 2020. King County Executive Dow Constantine extended the first-half property tax deadline to June 1 for individual taxpayers https://www.kingcounty.gov/elected/executive/constantine/news/release/2020/March/30-property-tax-extension.aspx; specifically, the order only applies to individual residential and commercial taxpayers who pay property taxes themselves. Banks and other financial institutions that pay property taxes on behalf of their customers must still meet the April 30 deadline. Taxpayers with questions about their property tax bill or payment options can contact King County Treasury at email@example.com or 206-263-2890. EMERGENCY CHILDCARE FUNDING APPROVED FOR FIRST RESPONDERS, ESSENTIAL WORKERS Many of our first responders and other essential workers have been struggling to find and afford childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with many providers having to close because of declining enrollments. That’s why I supported legislation that was approved earlier this week that provides $2.2 million in funding for emergency childcare for these crucial workers in King County.
The legislation, approved unanimously, will fund free childcare to these workers outside the city of Seattle, including front-line essential medical professionals and support staff, first responders, childcare providers who are providing emergency care, grocery and pharmacy employees, and transit workers. The County will work with Childcare Resources to identify providers and match families with vacant slots, and our Department of Community and Human Services will oversee the program. The Seattle Times included details of this in a Tuesday afternoon update of its live coverage here. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/coronavirus-daily-news-updates-march-31-what-to-know-today-about-covid-19-in-the-seattle-area-washington-state-and-the-nation/ SPECIAL ENROLLMENT FOR WA HEALTH PLAN EXTENDED A special enrollment period is now available through April 8, 2020 to qualified individuals who lose their employer-provided health insurance. Those who are currently uninsured should contact a Navigator for help filling out an application and selecting a plan. More information on enrollment can be found here https://www.wahealthplanfinder.org/_content/find-expert-advice.html. Contact information for Navigators across the state can be found here: https://www.wahealthplanfinder.org/HBEWeb/Annon_DisplayBrokerNavigatorSearch.action?brokerNavigator=NAV&request_locale=en RESOURCES FOR IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS We are living in an unprecedented and unpredictable cultural moment. This moment calls on us to go all-in for all of us. Our families and neighborhoods are stronger, safer and healthier when we come together and take care of each other in moments of crisis. Our friends at One America have compiled a tremendous list of resources in Washington State (some in multiple languages) to ensure everyone in our communities are able to receive the care and necessities they need. This includes resources for undocumented folks, Muslim communities, financial and health information, and even resources to stand against racism. You can access these resources on the council’s www.kingcounty.gov/council/gethelp site. ICYMI: GOV. INSLEE EXTENDS STAY-AT-ORDER UNTIL MAY 4 Gov. Jay Inslee announced at a press conference Thursday evening that the stay-at-home order is being extended to May 4. He said he is confident in the steps we have already taken, but we “cannot lose steam in this fight.” He added: “Science is clear: more people will die if we stop now.” There are no new restrictions on the extension of the order. For more information on the order and how it could impact you, go to coronavirus.wa.gov. IMPORTANT STEP IN THE FIGHT TO SAVE SMALL BUSINESS - $350B IN LOANS NOW AVAILABLE
As of Friday morning, nearly $350 billion in loans are now available to small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 crisis. The money, dubbed the Paycheck Protection Program, is part of the coronavirus relief plan from Congress and makes loans of up to $10 million (up to 2.5 times their total monthly payroll) available to businesses with fewer than 500 employees (based on pre-COVID-19 payroll numbers).
Business owners can find more information on the SBA’s website (https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp) or by contacting their preferred lender. Additionally, small businesses with temporary revenue loss can get up to $10,000 through an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Again, any business with fewer than 500 employees is eligible, and the funds need not be repaid. Information about this program is available here (https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance)
My staff is working to quickly gather all these resources in one place, and we will be adding more information about these programs and others to our Get Help page: https://www.kingcounty.gov/council/gethelp.aspx