Mayor Durkan extends Seattle eviction moratorium into January 2022

Sep 21, 2021, 11:38 AM
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, coronavirus, eviction moratorium...
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Tuesday that she will be extending the city’s eviction moratorium through Jan. 15, 2022.

Deadline on Seattle eviction moratorium looms

The city-level moratorium on residential and commercial evictions was initially set to expire on Sept. 30. A statewide moratorium expired at the end of July, while a “bridge” period for renters and landlords will come to a close at the end of the month.

“While we face the unexpected rise of the Delta variant, this next extension will ensure every level of government can provide rental assistance and housing support to tenants and landlords, which is critical to stabilizing the community as we reopen and recover,” Durkan said in a news release.

This marks the sixth time that Durkan has extended the city’s eviction moratorium. Once it finally does expire, a new ordinance will take effect, opening up a six-month window for tenants to “claim a defense against eviction for non-payment of rent if they can demonstrate financial hardships due to COVID-19.”

Local housing groups have previously expressed concerns over delays in distributed rental assistance funds, with King County having allocated just 6.6% out of $340 million in federal funds as of early September. A coalition that includes the King County Housing Justice Project and the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association has blamed requirements that they say “create barriers, delays, and decrease participation in the program [by] denying assistance to families and housing providers in need of immediate emergency rental assistance.”

Why extending eviction moratoriums could actually hurt renters

Seattle city data reports that $15 million in federal aid for tenants and landlords has been distributed since June. Another $28 million was “approved in August and the City is already distributing these funds.”

A lawsuit filed by landlords late last year alleged that eviction moratoriums implemented by Durkan and Gov. Jay Inslee were an abuse of executive power. A federal magistrate judge recommended last week that the lawsuit be dismissed.

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Mayor Durkan extends Seattle eviction moratorium into January 2022