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City Council Notes | Tenant protection legislation passes

Presentation1Here’s the latest from City Hall:

  • Tenant protection: The full City Council passed a raft of tenant protection ordinances Monday afternoon including widening anti-discrimination rules and banning the practice of offering tenants move-in deals based on employer. The legislation expands legal protection currently in place only for Section 8 voucher renters “to include people who receive alternate sources of income such as a pension, Social Security, unemployment, child support or any other governmental or non-profit subsidy,” according to a statement on the passage. The new rules also include a “First- come, First-served” rule set to prevent discrimination in the tenant screening process. Here are all three components of the legislation:
    First-Come, First-Served Screening Practice: Prevents housing providers from giving applicants with alternative sources of income a lower priority. It requires landlords to review applications one at a time, on a first-come, first-served basis.
    New Eviction Protections: Ensures that tenants can fully utilize community resources to prevent eviction. Landlords will be required to accept pledges from community-based organizations to remedy nonpayment of rent if funds are received within 5 days of an eviction notice.Preferred Employer Programs Banned: Encourages landlords to offer non-discriminatory move-in incentives. In 2015, both media and community members reported discounts on deposits and other move-in fees for rental applicants working for preferred employers. The Seattle of Office of Civil Rights recently concluded that some preferred employer programs that provide discounts or other terms and conditions in rental housing to certain groups over others may constitute discrimination under Seattle’s Open Housing Ordinance (SMC 14.08).

    The legislation passed Monday is based on recommendations from the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda task force. The rules will will take effect 30 days after Mayor Ed Murray signs the legislation.

  • Secure scheduling: Advocates at Working Washington were celebrating Monday’s release of proposals for Seattle’s secure scheduling legislation. You can check out a presentation on the proposals (PDF) here. CHS reported last week on what secure scheduling could mean for Capitol Hill businesses. The proposals as currently shaped would apply only to large employers with 500 or more employees and would only apply to hourly, non-exempt employees. The first session on the new proposals will take place at Tuesday morning’s Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development, and Arts Committee meeting.

  • Ernestine Anderson Way: The Council approved a resolution Monday afternoon to name a portion of S Jackson after jazz great Ernestine Anderson. Jackson from 20th Ave to 23rd will display honorary signs designating the street as Ernestine Anderson Way. The Central District jazz great died earlier this year at the age of 87. The new honorary street will run through the heart of Vulcan’s $30.9 million acquisition to redevelop the the Promenade 23 shopping center as a new mixed-use project.
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3 thoughts on “City Council Notes | Tenant protection legislation passes

  1. Wow. Another driver for commercial investment in nearby cities.
    “The proposals as currently shaped, …” Are just to get the foot in the door. Within a couple of years it will apply to all businesses in Seattle since companies will stop hiring employees once the headcount reaches 490.

    • I doubt it. I used to do scheduling for a major book chain (retail). About 45-50 employees. It really wasn’t hard to comply with these proposed rules (which I followed as a matter of basic decency; it was in California and a decade ago so they didn’t apply then). It just took someone with half a brain making the schedule. Perhaps the restaurant business is THAT much different than other retail, but I’d gladly pay the extra dollar or whatever the marginal increase in labor cost is.

    • Scheduling is done by an algorithm now, squeezing the most hours at the lowest costs out of workers. If it were still done by humans, this wouldn’t be as big a problem as it’s become. You might ask if it’s reasonable to expect of a person; the algorithm is optimized for the bottom line.