609 Summit Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102
Be:Seattle Organizing is launching a series of tenant rights and education workshops in Seattle known as Tenant Rights Bootcamps. They will be run in partnership with the Legal Action Center with an initial phase of 6 Bootcamps lasting from January 11th to March 22nd. Taking place in cafes, restaurants, and other community spaces across the city, this series provides an accessible way for renters to learn from people who know landlord/tenant law, civic engagement, and community organizing. Tenants will walk away from Bootcamps with a better understanding of their rights, new/changing Seattle landlord-tenant laws, and resources to help in trying times. They will have the opportunity to feel more educated and empowered. They’ll also learn how to get engaged around issues that affect them as renters.
Many renters in Seattle are living in situations where they could benefit from knowing their rights. According to the City of Seattle, over half of Seattleites rent and according to the latest American Community Survey, nearly 2/3 of Seattle renters are not in a position to pay for a new market-rate 2-bedroom apartment. In addition, the Federal Reserve says 46% of Americans cannot cover a $400+ emergency expense. This year we’ve seen what that means for Seattleites. According to the most recent One Night Count, King County saw a nearly 20% increase in homelessness in 2016. During such delicate times for a large percentage of our neighbors, knowing their rights, changes in laws affecting rental situations, and how/when to assert oneself can help renters in Seattle stay housed.
“By offering Bootcamps in familiar third places, we are breaking down barriers to finding help with such a complicated subject,” says Devin Silvernail, Executive Director of Be:Seattle Organizing. “With Tenant Rights Bootcamps, we will make it easy for someone to learn their rights, find a referral if needed, or learn about ways to help others. We are bringing resources to the people.”
“It’s a tough time to be a renter in Seattle. Knowing your rights is the first step to ensuring safe and stable housing for you and your family in this turbulent rental market,” says Maureen Roast, Senior Staff Attorney from the Legal Action Center, in reference to the need for Tenant Rights Bootcamps.