Listen to 97.3 KIRO Newsradio: NOW! Seahawks vs. Rams
JOHN CURLEY AND SHARI ELLIKER

Rep for landlords says Seattle needs to focus on ‘real solutions’ to fix housing crisis

Sep 28, 2021, 5:23 AM
segregation, homeless affordable housing, apartments, housing...
(File, Associated Press)
(File, Associated Press)

With eviction moratoriums being extended in Seattle and more housing bills approved by the city council, the Tom & Curley Show reached out to Brett Waller for details. Waller represents landlords and is the director of government affairs for the Washington Multifamily Housing Association.

How Seattle’s extended eviction moratorium may leave small landlords behind

Host John Curley asked Waller what recent bills he’s looking at or worried about from the city council.

“Where do I start?,” Waller replied. “The most recent bill that they passed was the school year eviction ban that applies to any individual who has a child in school, or a person who works for the school district or for a school — primary K-12 type school. That passed, and they just prevented evictions without any compensation, not providing any rental assistance or the opportunity to access rental assistance to really fix the problem that exists when you have a non payment of rent situation.”

Waller says with $2,000 in rental assistance, a tenancy can be whole and stable for over a year, on average.

“We just really need to focus on rental assistance,” he said. “… Just getting that $2,000 in cash, on average will keep a family stable for 95% of the time over a year period of time.”

That said, revenue can be an issue, Waller admits.

“I think we are a sympathetic villain, [that] may be the best term out there,” Waller said. “There’s a lot of focus on landlords and housing right now and that’s why the council has returned with two more bills that will be up on Monday about rent increases that make it just more challenging to operate rental housing in the city of Seattle.”

As for those two bills, one requires at least six months notice for a rent increase. The second requires the landlord to pay relocation assistance to the tenants if the rent is increased by more than 10% and the tenant moves out. Both were passed by the Seattle City Council on Monday.

“The city is requiring the landlord to pay that money,” Waller said about the second bill. “So it’s really a tax or a fee on the landlord to operate their business and to cover their operating expenses.”

Waller pointed out that on average, 10 cents of every dollar paid in rent goes to the pocket of the landlord, while 90 cents of every dollar goes toward the operating costs of the property.

“When you look at a property, you have to estimate what the taxes are going to be for next year,” he said. “There’s an incredible shortage of labor right now in the rental property market. And so wages are very competitive and that’s making it very difficult for affordable housing providers particularly to keep up with the market conditions with the inability to raise rent, and the challenges around raising rent in affordable communities to maintain the competitiveness of employee wages, and also the maintenance of communities.”

Down the road, landlords will continue to look for ways to mitigate their risk.

“They look at their screening criteria, they sell their property to get out of the market, and that becomes a homeowner type of a property, and they just do other things,” Waller said. “Everything that the city council has done, arguably, has not stabilized the housing market in the city of Seattle, it’s only made it worse.”

“So what we need to do is really focus on real solutions to fix Seattle’s housing crisis,” he added.

Listen to the Tom and Curley Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.

John Curley and Shari Elliker

John Curley and Shari Elliker

swift...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

Taylor Swift fans have ‘Bad Blood’ over Ticketmaster fiasco

This is Swift's first tour since 2018, with her tour following the record-breaking success of her newest album, "Midnights."
18 days ago
larkin...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

Larkin: Attack ads from Schrier a ‘sad attempt’ to distract voters

One of Schrier's more recent commercials called Larkin "the definition of dangerous," stating he would "support a national ban on abortion."
1 month ago
smiley...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

Tiffany Smiley claims Sen. Patty Murray is “desperate” as race barrels toward November

Tiffany Smiley continues to keep pace with incumbent Patty Murray as the Senate election draws near.
2 months ago
not guilty, Seattle shooting...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

State legislator wants to change self-defense laws after Seattle shooting suspect found not guilty

State Rep. Jim Walsh wants to create a bill that will "clear up language around self-defense" to protect people that have actual claims.
2 months ago
(Photo by Katie Falkenberg/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)...
L.B. Gilbert

Actor Joel McHale asks why the post office has stopped some Vashon Island deliveries

Some residents of Vashon Island have been recently notified by the Postal Service that home deliveries to their residences will be stopped due to safety complaints from postal workers.
3 months ago
(Getty Images)...
MyNorthwest Staff

WA’s ban on high-capacity ammo magazines to take effect July 1

The measure also outlines that importing, manufacturing, and distributing magazines with more than 10 rounds will be prohibited. 
5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Rep for landlords says Seattle needs to focus on ‘real solutions’ to fix housing crisis