LOCAL NEWS

Seattle council upholds eviction moratorium expiration set for Feb. 28

Feb 22, 2022, 6:34 PM | Updated: Feb 23, 2022, 9:16 am
eviction moratorium...
Councilmember Kshama Sawant (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Seattle City Council has rejected a proposed extension to Seattle’s eviction moratorium, currently set to expire Feb. 28. The rejection carried on a three to five vote, with Councilmembers Kshama Sawant, Teresa Mosqueda, and Lisa Herbold as the three approval votes.

Mayor Harrell to end Seattle eviction moratorium Feb. 28

While the legislation considered Tuesday was a resolution, and therefore did not have the same legal significance as an ordinance, it would have effectively removed the end date from the emergency order that carries the moratorium. If it had passed, the moratorium would have extended through the COVID civil emergency, not simply to the end of the month as previously established by the mayor.

In a last-minute push to bring a more moderate proposal to the table, Councilmember Lisa Herbold proposed an amendment to the resolution that would have established a later sunset date to the moratorium: April 30. Herbold said in council sessions Tuesday that the attempt was largely to avoid maintaining the moratorium in perpetuity as Sawant’s proposal tied the moratorium to the indefinite COVID public health emergency.

That vote failed on a 3-5 margin as well, although it was rejected by Sawant and approved by Councilmember Dan Strauss.

Sawant, the original resolution’s sponsor, brought the legislation forward late last week. She argues that the end of the moratorium would trigger a wave of evictions, exacerbating Seattle’s homelessness problem as the U.S. Census Bureau estimates 19% of adults in the Seattle metropolitan area (spanning Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellevue) have either missed a recent rent or mortgage payment, or have low confidence in their ability to make rent next month.

In her Tuesday remarks, Sawant commented on Mayor Bruce Harrell’s announcement that $25 million would be allocated in rental assistance to mitigate the effect of the moratorium’s end.

“When this eviction moratorium is about to expire, that’s when new applications [for rental assistance] are also not going to be accepted,” Sawant said Tuesday. “So when Mayor Harrell says that he has identified $25 million, what it actually means is that there is only $25 million left, not that there is an additional $25 million being added.”

Summarizing the rationale for the votes of rejection, Council President Debora Juarez stressed the temporary nature of the eviction moratorium as drafted.

“We were one of the first in the country to understand the gravity of the economic recession, especially for low-income renters,” Juarez said Tuesday.

“Just 13 days after Mayor Durkan passed the proclamation of civil emergency, she issued an emergency order placing a temporary moratorium on residential evictions. But the keyword is temporary. We knew this moratorium would not last forever. We cannot have a healthy economy when nobody pays rent.”

The eviction moratorium dates back two years, to the early days of the pandemic in 2020. Former Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan extended the moratorium roughly a half dozen times over the course of her administration. Mayor Harrell announced earlier in February that he would allow it to expire at the end of the month.

Just shy of 100 people signed up for public testimony before the Tuesday vote. Speakers ranged from small landlords to commercial tenants. Comments spanned personal anecdotes of COVID-related hardships, to the mention of other forms of rental aid available, beyond the moratorium, provided under the mayor’s public health emergency order.

Local News

Photo by Elena Di Vincenzo...
MyNorthwest Staff

Heat Mitigation Strategy unveiled as Seattle Temperatures Rise

King County has put together an Extreme Heat Mitigation Strategy to prepare for the rising temperatures set to start this weekend.
17 hours ago
Photo by John Moore...
Associated Press

Nevada man sentenced for assault on Vegas-Seattle flight

A 41-year-old Nevada man has been ordered to serve six months home confinement and pay more than $49,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to assault and interference with crew members during a 2019 flight from Seattle to Las Vegas.
17 hours ago
Photo by John Moore...
Micki Gamez

Ferry dos and don’ts for your 4th of July weekend

Fourth of July weekend is approaching and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has released its annual traveling checklist regarding the ferries.
17 hours ago
Photo by Jason Redmond...
Logan Gilbert

Inslee vows to stop ‘assault’ on Washington values post-Roe

In a press conference in Olympia this weekend, Washington Governor Jay Inslee vowing to take measures to protect abortion rights in Washington state.
17 hours ago
superintendent...
MyNorthwest Staff

Superintendent: SCOTUS decision on Bremerton coach retains separation of church and state

The Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction is calling Monday's SCOTUS decision an affirmation of the separation of church and state.
17 hours ago
Photo from Monroe School District...
MyNorthwest Staff

Monroe High School student charged with hate crime, choking and homophobic language

A 16-year-old Monroe High School Student has been charged with a hate crime after choking a 14-year-old student and saying homophobic things to him.
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Seattle council upholds eviction moratorium expiration set for Feb. 28