Rental assistance available in San Juan County

Submitted by Megan Ehrmantraut for the Orcas Community Resource Center

“Housing is absolutely essential to human flourishing. Without stable shelter, it all falls apart.” ~Matthew Desmond

Home is where we gratefully retreat at the end of each day to unwind and find respite from life’s daily challenges in our own safe environment. As our community is well aware, finding and maintaining housing on Orcas Island can oftentimes be a major hurdle. If you or someone you care about are in need of temporary rental or mortgage assistance, the Orcas Community Resource Center offers referrals and programs to help.

The Opportunity Council in Bellingham administers Federal Emergency Rental Assistance for residents in San Juan County. Tenants must meet the following eligibility requirements: Income is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income over the past 60 days and be at risk of experiencing homelessness or currently experiencing housing instability. Please visit for more information on eligibility and application.

Depending on available resources, OCRC offers programs to temporarily assist people with the occasional financial struggle of staying in their homes or getting into long term housing. Qualified applicants may receive help with rental deposits, first and last months’ rent, along with case management and goal setting to ensure housing stability and long-term success.

The Resource Center is located at 374 North Beach Rd in Eastsound. Office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9am-4pm and Tuesday and Thursday 10am-4pm. We can also be reached by phone at 360-376-3184 or via email at

OCRC is grateful for our community partnerships and the generous support of individual donors that assist with making our services possible. If you’d like to make a donation to support islanders in need or learn more about our services, please visit