Kenmore votes to extend eviction moratorium through September
The Kenmore City Council voted unanimously Monday night to extend the city’s COVID-19 related eviction moratorium through at least the end of September.
The moratorium was supposed to end on the last day of June.
It’s possible the council will extend the moratorium again to Oct. 31, 2021, but they decided to wait on that one-month extension until closer to the end of September.
“If we estimate just two to three people per household, we are looking at 120-180,000 individuals at risk for homelessness, which would completely collapse our human services system come July 1st,” said Tram Larsen with the Housing Justice Project during testimony at the city council meeting.
“King County has $165 million in rental assistance funds, but organizations need time to set up the infrastructure to distribute those funds. And likewise, legal aid clinics need time to hire and train up new attorneys,” Larsen added.
Chris Graves spoke on behalf of renters, and says there are ways for landlords to collect assistance.
“If the landlords just simply want to be paid, there is nearly $165 million in rental assistance funds available,” Graves noted.
Randy Bannecker spoke on behalf of real estate agents who often represent smaller apartment building owners. While they were in favor of extending the moratorium, Bannecker wanted to remind the council that mom-and-pop landlords keep a community affordable.
“Small landlords typically value keeping those units occupied as opposed to keeping the rent on an upward trajectory,” Bannecker said.
A number of other local cities currently have pandemic-related eviction moratoriums in place, including Seattle. The statewide eviction moratorium from Gov. Inslee is set to expire at the end of June.