Washington is at a crossroads; at any given time since the beginning of the pandemic recession, well over 100,000 renters have been unable to pay rent. A sufficient off-ramp from the eviction moratorium must be implemented before it expires in March. Census Bureau data from mid-December found that over 175,000 Washington renters were behind in rent and over 387,000 renters who were current on rent report that they had to use credit cards and other unsustainable methods to meet their basic needs in the last 7 days.
The Washington State Department of Commerce estimates that $100 million in rental assistance is needed PER MONTH in order to meet the great need. The estimated $500 million in federal rental assistance will significantly help address part of the rental arrears that have already accumulated, but it will be critical for the state to fill the gap and to create a longer term solution to assist the households that will continue to need rental assistance for the months and years to come.
Of course, rental assistance alone will not prevent evictions – we must ensure that landlords have a legitimate business reason to make tenants move and that tenants with a valid legal defense don’t unfairly lose their home because of a confusing and intimidating legal process that is impossible to navigate without help.
Use the form on the right to to ask your lawmakers to protect tenants from evictions and homelessness! THANK YOU!
Will you please also sign in PRO on the following two bills that have hearings this week? This is important to show broad support in the official bill record.
SB 5160 Hearing: Eviction Prevention, Senator Kuderer, Senate Housing & Local Government Committee, Wednesday, January 20, 10:30am –12:30pm.
SB 5139 Hearing: Limiting rent increases after the eviction moratorium expires, Senate Housing & Local Government Committee, Thursday, Jan 21, 8:00-10:00am.
How to sign in PRO on important bills this week!
To sign in PRO on SB 5160 or SB 5139, take the following simple steps!
First, you'll need to go to this link: https://app.leg.wa.gov/CSIRemote/
Select "Senate" from the drop-down menu.
Select the “Housing and Local Government” Committee and the Meeting time from the drop down menus. See above for the date/time of each bill.
Select the Bill number and title you wish to weigh in on.
Select "I would like my position noted for the legislative record."
On the next page, select "PRO” and complete the form.
IMPORTANT NOTE: We have confirmed that any information entered into these fields, including contact information (names, addresses, etc.) is publicly disclosable upon request. If for reasons of safety or otherwise you DO NOT want your address publicly disclosable, you can submit "decline" in the address line or use another address in your district instead. We recommend still entering your city (again, only if it feels safe), so that legislators know what district you are contacting them from.
That's it! Thank you so much!