LOCAL NEWS

Mayor Harrell extends Seattle eviction moratorium another 30 days

Jan 12, 2022, 10:55 AM
Mayor Harrell, Seattle eviction moratorium...
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. (City of Seattle)
(City of Seattle)

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced Wednesday that he will be issuing a 30-day extension of the city’s eviction moratorium.

Kshama Sawant calls on mayor to extend Seattle’s eviction moratorium

The city-level moratorium on residential and commercial evictions was initially set to expire on Sept. 30, 2021. Then-Mayor Jenny Durkan later extended it to Jan. 15 in the wake of the delta variant-fueled surge in COVID-19 cases. A statewide moratorium expired at the end of July 2021, while a “bridge” period for renters and landlords expired two months later.

Citing a recent rise in COVID-19 cases, Harrell said he believes another extension is a necessary step toward providing relief for renters in the near-term.

“As this rapid surge in cases driven by the omicron variant drives further pandemic uncertainty, keeping vulnerable people in their homes must be the immediate focus,” he said in a Wednesday press conference. “Over the next month, we will continue to track changing conditions and seek improved metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of the moratorium and aligned policies. Our actions will continue to be driven by data and our values, focused on preventing a rise in homelessness and supporting the tenants and small landlords most in need.”

In addition to the extension — which will now have the eviction moratorium extend through Feb. 14 — Harrell is also forming an “interdepartmental team” to manage the distribution of rental aid to both tenants and small landlords, which will include a new online portal.

Why extending eviction moratoriums could actually hurt renters

Over the next 30 days, Harrell says Seattle “must go further to pursue the most effective methods of support” for members of the community.

“I am directing city departments to use the next 30 days to urgently and comprehensively collect and analyze needed data around the pandemic’s effect on the housing crisis and impact of the eviction moratorium, improve accessibility and delivery of assistance resources, and prepare targeted outreach to tenants most at-risk of eviction,” he vowed.

Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities are also being directed to continue offering flexible payment plans, and will not shut off utilities for nonpayment until April 15. For parking, a suspension of booting vehicles for unpaid parking tickets will be extended “until further notice.”

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Mayor Harrell extends Seattle eviction moratorium another 30 days