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Gov. Inslee says lots of talk, no decision yet on extending eviction moratorium

An apartment building in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. (MyNorthwest photo)

Governor Inslee says he knows it’s urgent, but he is not ready to announce if the eviction moratorium will be extended past June 30 in Washington state.

Kshama Sawant mounts pressure as deadline on Seattle eviction moratorium looms

Mediation programs, legal support, and pandemic relief are among the things that need to be sorted out before state leaders decide if they will extend the eviction moratorium past the end of the month.

“I can tell you we are very aware of the gap between the current termination of the order and the standing up of the relief for tenants and landlords,” Inslee said. “That’s a significant gap.”

A significant amount of pandemic rental relief has not been distributed yet, and Governor Inslee said that has renters in a precarious situation. His team is trying to find a solution and will make an announcement as soon as possible.

“Continuing to talk to legislators and folks who are affected by this,” Inslee said. “So we’ll have some decisions obviously before the end of June, but we are working on some potential resolution of these issues.”

This week, Kirkland and Kenmore extended their eviction moratoriums to September 30. Kent, Burien and Bellevue are considering similar moves.

Seattle’s moratorium is also set to expire on June 30. When last asked in early June about whether she intends to push that deadline, Mayor Jenny Durkan indicated that she wanted to dig into the data and coordinate with Gov. Inslee’s office before making a final decision.

“Mayor Durkan has a choice: She can stand with struggling renters and extend the eviction moratorium through this year, or represent corporate landlords,” said City Councilmember Kshama Sawant. She is calling for rally on Thursday, June 24, at Cal Anderson Park.

Seattle group voices concern over ‘tsunami of evictions’

According to Solid Ground — a Seattle-based group that provides resources and services to tenants in need — the conclusion of the state’s eviction moratorium could have wide-ranging, dire consequences. It cited data cited from a U.S. Census survey between April 28 and May 10 that indicates roughly 82,500 people in the Greater Seattle area are behind on rent.

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