Housing

There are many federal, state, and community housing resources available to help low and moderate-income renters, homebuyers, and homeowners. 

There are many resources available to help increase and preserve homeownership for low and moderate-income individuals and families. These resources provide information on topics such as the lending and home buying process, mortgage programs and products for first-time home buyers, down payment/purchase assistance for eligible first-time borrowers, credit barriers, predatory lending prevention, and foreclosure prevention.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has a set of tools and resources to help homebuyers and homeowners feel more confident, become more informed, and make smarter decisions about mortgages. 

Buying a House is an online suite of tools and resources to help consumers navigate the home-buying process.

  • As you begin your home and mortgage search, this guide will tell you all you need to know to choose the right mortgage for your situation.
  • The tools included in Buying a House are:
    • The Loan Estimate explainer helps consumers review their Loan Estimate and get definitions for unfamiliar terms using an interactive sample.
    • Closing Disclosure explainer helps consumers double-check that all the details in a Closing Disclosure are correct. 
    • Explore interest rates allows consumers to explore lending data from real lenders, updated every business day in the evening. This tool gives you a realistic sense for the range of interest rates you should expect when shopping for a mortgage, so you can know whether you’re getting a good deal.
    • Closing checklist helps consumers prepare for closing, one of the most important parts of the home-buying process.  As you near the end of the process, a simple checklist will help prepare you for the big day.  See also: Get ready for closing
    • Guide to closing forms provides descriptions of four important closing forms: the Promissory Note, the Mortgage/Security Instrument, the Initial Escrow Disclosure, and the Right to Cancel form. Learn what to look for in your closing documents before signing. See also: Understand your closing forms.
  • Your Home Loan Toolkit: Toolkit that can help homebuyers get the best mortgage for their situation, understand the closing costs and what it takes to buy a home, and a few ways to be a successful homeowner.

Washington Department of Financial Institutions also provides tips and resources for first time homebuyers and current homeowners.

You can also attend a local homebuyer education seminar. These classes are FREE and are at least five hours long.

There are different types of homebuyer education classes advertised by a variety of sources. Many banks, brokers, and real estate offices offer classes; however, some may be biased towards their own products and services. Seminars offered by nonprofits and sponsored by Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) or the NeighborWorks Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling are designed to provide neutral, unbiased education on the home-buying process.

Infographic "Hard times doesn't [...] mean losing your home. Call for help. Free, safe confidential"

Understanding Foreclosure

Are you, or someone you know, having trouble paying your mortgage? This can be a scary, confusing and frustrating situation. Learn about the foreclosure process and the FREE resources available to help struggling homeowners keep their homes.

Seattle University School of Law and the City of Seattle have produced a new video that clarifies the foreclosure process and shows why it is important for you to seek help as soon as possible. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

Watch this video: Plain Talk About Foreclosure
Vídeo en español: Una Plática Franca Sobre la Ejecución Hipotecaria


Washington Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide

This Foreclosure Prevention Guide is a resource for homeowners at risk of foreclosure, including a Mediation Toolkit. (This guide provides general information concerning your rights and responsibilities. It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice. Make sure you reach out for help about your specific circumstances today.)

Note: If you are a homeowner seeking help with your mortgage, please contact a housing counselor or legal aid attorney by calling the Washington Homeownership Hotline at 877-894-4663 (toll-free) or (206) 542-1243 in Seattle.

For legal assistance, call the Northwest Justice Project’s Foreclosure Prevention Hotline at 800-606-4819.


Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

  • Call the Homeownership Information Hotline at 877-894-HOME (4663) to find an attorney specializing in foreclosure prevention or to speak to a HUD-approved Counselor. 
  • Learn more about mortgage assistance and foreclosure prevention for Washington state homeowners.
  • Beware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams: The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions advises homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgage to be cautious about using the services of someone offering to help them work with their lender to modify the terms of their home loan. Solutions that sound too simple or too good to be true usually are. Many bad actors are waiting to take advantage of homeowners in trouble. Don’t pay anyone who offers to help you for a fee. 
  • HUD-approved housing counselors will provide advice to you free-of-charge when calling the hotline.

Washington Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) - Now Accepting Applications

  • The Washington State Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) provides individual support and federal relief funds to qualified Washington homeowners behind on their mortgage due to pandemic hardship. The Housing Finance Commission is the organization that is managing this program across the Washington state. What to do now if you are interested: Homeowners should call the Homeownership Hotline at 877-894-4663 to start working with a housing counselor to receive guidance on their specific situation, and assistance with applying for the Washington HAF Program.
  • Established by Congress as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) was created to provide financial assistance to help homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Washington state will receive $173 million under this program for homeowner assistance. Be wary of scams: There is absolutely no fee to receive assistance in applying for this program! Call the state hotline to get help that is free and safe.
  • Learn more about the HAF:

An infographic for Washington Homeownership Resource Center.

Connect with the Washington Homeownership Resource Center for Options after a COVID-19 Forbearance.  Watch this video to find out more! 

At Washington Law Help you will find general information, self-help packets, and resources to assist you with foreclosure.

If you are facing foreclosure you may be contacted by letter or phone call from your lenders that you are at risk of facing foreclosure. The letter or notice that you receive may contain phone numbers for a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, the Department of Financial Institutions referral number to the Washington State Foreclosure hotline, or for legal assistance through the Northwest Justice Project that serves low-income persons and persons age 60 and older (1-800-997-8944 weekdays between 2 and 4:30 p.m.).  You should seek assistance in working with a housing counselor to assess your ability to pay your mortgage or consider other options.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

The COVID-19 pandemic had made it difficult for renters and landlords to cover housing costs. With the CDC moratorium ending on July 31, 2021 many renters are worried about catching up on past-due rent and facing eviction. Help is available.

  • Renters—and landlords—can apply for money from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. The funds are being distributed by state and local organizations to their local communities. This money can help with rent, utility bills, and even moving costs.
  • The CFPB new Rental Assistance Finder allows people to find aid based on the state or territory or tribe or tribal lands where they live. Please share this resource with your networks so that more people can stay in their homes and avoid eviction.
  • For more information on the new tool, please see the CFPB July 28, 2021 press release and blog.
  • Additionally, the CFPB digital toolkit for media, intermediaries, and other stakeholders provides the most up-to-date information and resources that you can share with struggling renters about rental assistance.

At Washington Law Help you will find general information, self-help packets and resources to assist you with tenant’s rights.


Solid Ground: Operates a statewide hotline for tenants seeking information on the Residential Landlord/Tenant Act and renters’ rights. Tenant counselors can provide legal referrals and action plans appropriate to each tenant’s needs.  The hotline number is 206-694-6767.  


HUD: Tenant Rights, Laws, and Protections in Washington State. 

For low-income permanent housing resources search HUD subsidized properties


Tenants Union: For landlord-tenant information and aid in settling disputes, call the Tenants Union at 206-723-0500 or visit their website


For rental assistance resources, contact the Community Information Line at: 2-1-1 (from a landline only) or toll free 1-877-211-9274.


Emergency Cash Assistance: If you have an emergency and need a one-time cash payment to get or keep safe housing or utilities, you may be eligible for the Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs (AREN).