King County Councilmember seeks to expedite rental assistance

Aug 31, 2021, 5:16 AM
Seattle eviction moratorium, rental assistance...
Seattle apartment building. (MyNorthwest file photo)
(MyNorthwest file photo)

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn is trying to find out why millions of dollars in pandemic rental assistance is still sitting in county bank accounts.

King County rent relief dollars expected to start flowing faster

This new legislation from Dunn comes after the Supreme Court recently struck down the federal moratorium, and as the state eviction moratorium is set to expire on Sept. 30. Dunn seeks to expedite the distribution of rental assistance to those unable to pay their housing bill.

“Thousands of renters and landlords in King County are depending on this financial assistance to pay their housing costs,” Dunn said. “Especially as the end of Washington’s eviction moratorium approaches, it’s good government to get this money out the door for people who desperately need it.”

King County has received about $145 million in rent assistance to give to renters and landlords struggling due to the economic impact of COVID-19, according to the release from Dunn.

Councilmember Dunn cites newspaper reports that say King County has given out less than 5% of its rental relief, while Pierce County has distributed 59% and Snohomish County has distributed 47%. As of mid-August, about 1,000 people have gotten assistance in King County, but 11,000 have applied.

The motion from Dunn requests a report on the delays in distribution, and recommendations for options to expedite the process for those in need. The report would be due by Nov. 2, 2021.

KIRO Radio has contacted the King County Executive’s Office for comment.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.

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King County Councilmember seeks to expedite rental assistance