Editorial: With Broad Renter Aid Available, End Eviction Moratoriums
The Seattle Times Editorial Board makes the case for ending Washington State’s eviction moratorium.
But now that the economy is slowly recovering, unemployment claims are falling, relief funds are flowing and new renter protections are in place, state and local leaders should let blanket bans expire.
Gov. Jay Inslee’s first order barring eviction for nonpayment of rent was issued March 18, 2020. He has extended the moratorium several times. Most recently he has declared a “bridge” moratorium barring most evictions through the end of October. In Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan has extended eviction protections until Jan. 15.
Nearly 141,000 Washington households were behind on rent last month, according to the most recent Census Pulse Survey. Targeted eviction-protection measures are the right tools to help these renters reach agreements with landlords so they can remain stably housed.
Millions in federal rental assistance funds are being distributed to landlords on behalf of tenants behind on rent payments. In Seattle, where an estimated 60,000 households owe back rent, the city has worked with nonprofit and community partners to distribute more than $15 million in relief payments. Another $6 million is in the pipeline, with an additional $28 million in second-round federal money earmarked for rent relief.
Read more here.