The City of Tacoma launched on Wednesday a rental assistance program to help eligible households that cannot afford part or all of their rent due to hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

How it works: The program provides a one-time payment of up to $1,000 directly to landlords of selected individuals or families who live in the city limits of Tacoma and have experienced loss of employment or reduction in wages due to COVID-19, resulting in an income level at or below 50 percent area median income for Pierce County.

To apply for the program, people can submit an application online. The application will be accepted through May 6, 2020, and will be included in an award lottery. In keeping with Tacoma’s Welcoming Cities Policy, the city stated that it will not be tracking or providing information to immigration and customs enforcement about immigration or citizenship status.

The program is funded from the city’s housing trust fund, which has redirected $1.2 million to respond to the pandemic to help build community resiliency and stabilize households. It expects to process about 100 applications per week, and to complete the distribution of funds over a 15-week period.

People who need translation services or have trouble accessing the online link, can call (253) 582-5230 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to noon for assistance.