Mayor Durkan extends Seattle eviction moratorium through end of year

Aug 14, 2020, 2:45 PM

Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Friday that she would be extending a citywide eviction moratorium for small business, nonprofits, and residential buildings through the end of the year.

King County councilmember says rent moratorium would destroy economy

Durkan issued the extension in the form an executive order, effective through Dec. 31, 2020.

“This pandemic has put people out of work, caused families to struggle to put food on the table and pay rent, and caused some of our most beloved small businesses to shutter for good,” she said in a news release. “The moratorium on evictions is one critical tool we have at the City to keep people in their homes and keep businesses afloat.”

The moratorium makes it so that landlords cannot file termination notices with courts barring “an imminent threat to the health and safety of the community.” Combined with an order enacted by Gov. Jay Inslee, it also eliminates fees for late payments from tenants, and prohibits increases to rent and security deposits through Oct. 15.

In order to be eligible for the moratorium, small businesses must be independently owned, and have 50 or fewer employees per establishment. The restrictions on late fees also apply to the small business and nonprofit eviction moratorium.

Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) also issued a series of $10,000 grants to 72 small businesses on Friday, as part of the third round of spending out of the city’s Small Business Stabilization Fund. In total, the OED has provided 469 businesses with these grants.

Seattle City Council legislation protects renters evicted during COVID-19

Eviction moratoriums first came into play in Washington in March, when Gov. Inslee issued a 30-day statewide order halting residential evictions for late payments. He has since extended that order for the duration of an official state of emergency he declared over the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Meanwhile, there are growing concerns across the U.S. in states where eviction moratoriums have been allowed to expire.

Experts predict waves of evictions will only get worse in the coming weeks, with 30 million unemployed and uncertainty over whether Congress will extend the extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits that expired recently. The federal eviction moratorium that protects more than 12 million renters living in federally subsidized apartments or units with federally backed mortgages expired July 25.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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Mayor Durkan extends Seattle eviction moratorium through end of year