Post navigation

Prev: (02/25/20) | Next: (02/26/20)

‘To actually prevent winter evictions,’ Durkan proposes alternative to Seattle City Council’s ban

Mayor Jenny Durkan won’t veto the bill but the she said Tuesday she also won’t sign Seattle’s new law banning evictions during winter months as she proposed a new plan for $200,000 in funding for an existing eviction prevention program.

The middle ground decision means the council’s legislation — including a loophole for “small landlords” who own four or fewer units — will now become law.

But Durkan says she is proposing a new solution be taken up by the council, saying the its winter eviction ban championed by District 3 representative Kshama Sawant created only “a legal defense during eviction proceedings” and “nearly half of households failed to contest an eviction or appear in court.”

“As a young lawyer, I saw firsthand how devastating evictions can be in an one’s life,” Durkan said.

“Providing the resources to help prevent eviction in the first place is the right thing to do.”

Durkan’s proposal would increase funding assistance to tenants facing homelessness due to eviction between December 1 and March 1, building off of a Seattle Human Services Department program by providing $200,000 to United Way of King County for its Home Base program. Last year, United Way’s Home Base “helped more than 800 households avoid evictions,” according to the mayor’s announcement.

The mayor’s proposed bill will now be sent to the City Council for consideration.


THANKS! WE DID IT! 1,000 CHS SUBSCRIBERS -- We asked, you answered. Thanks for stepping up!
Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.


Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

14 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
TurnCalAndersonIntoADogPark
TurnCalAndersonIntoADogPark
1 year ago

So she’s not vetoing the bill, but is refusing to sign it? How long can she stall?

Obviously Durkan is backed into a corner and is trying to protect the developers and big landlords while hoping to appear progressive with her own proposal. If she really cared about preventing winter evictions she’d sign the bill AND propose more funding.

Another example of why we need Sawant on the council, even if you don’t care for her approach: by pushing the most radical proposals she forces an otherwise ineffective council into action. We see the same happening at the state level with macri’s HB 2907/2948.

Ryan Packer
Ryan Packer
1 year ago

She can’t really “stall” at all. It goes into effect after 30 days if she doesn’t sign it.

HTS3
HTS3
1 year ago

How about “hoping to appear sane?” Not all landlords live in Palm Springs. Having rentals, yes, more than four, is a business for many people. And that business is based on an equation of costs and profit. When 1/4 of a year’s profit is removed through a government action, without compensation, is this fair? All while another part of government is demanding property taxes on that property that now makes substantially less. You may say that Durkan is bowing to corporate interests. I think she’s trying to balance an activist Council and the needs of her constituents.

TurnCalAndersonIntoADogPark
TurnCalAndersonIntoADogPark
1 year ago
Reply to  HTS3

Renters are constituents. Saying that Durkan is looking to protect her constituents with this in intervention seems to miss that fact.

Those facing a winter eviction are in the greatest need of protection. Landlords who own multiple properties, on the other hand, are going to be just fine waiting a few months.

There’s nothing “sane” about prioritizing the needs of a housing corp with multiple hproperties over the needs of someone with next to nothing.

Glenn
Glenn
1 year ago

Dog park. It becomes law if she does not sign it. By not signing she is signaling she does not support the legislation but will not stand in the way of it becoming law. And she is proposing funding for solutions she think will actually address the problem. So, you get what you wanted plus additional funding to prevent evictions. Why are you complaining ?

Glenn
Glenn
1 year ago
Reply to  Glenn

And rather than denigrate a council which voted for the proposal, you might consider thanking them. That is what you’re supposed to do when elected leaders come together to pass legislation. Sadly, you and Sawant accept their votes and then proceed to denigrate them as ineffective, corporate politicians. Way to build a coalition. I think Tammy Morales and Debra Mosqueda and Lisa Herbold (all very progressive politicians) would strongly object to that description.

TurnCalAndersonIntoADogPark
TurnCalAndersonIntoADogPark
1 year ago
Reply to  Glenn

I’ll be satisfied with any councilmember who takes initiative in pursuing progressive goals rather than merely responding to pressure. The council didn’t give this to us out of generosity, they yielded to an organized, grassroots effort that would have made them look like cold hearted had they voted no. That’s how progressive politics works– if you want change, you don’t ask nicely and hope to be rewarded by a nice politician; rather, you organize, be vocal, and put on the pressure

Glenn
Glenn
1 year ago
Reply to  Glenn

If you dont think Mosqueda, Morales and Herbold take initiative to pursue progressive goals, you are not paying attention. Frankly, i wish they would pursue fewer of them, but I recognize they are activist politicians. But if they vote to support your policy goals, thank them, don’t piss all over them, like Sawant does. That is why she is a cult of personality. She cannot share credit with anyone else, even when they are very progressive council members helping to advance a progressive agenda.

HTS3
HTS3
1 year ago

Yes, renters are constituents. So are the people who own rentals. These are not all big corporations. Some of them are family owned businesses or retired people who have made rental property part of their retirement plan. Of course those facing eviction, no matter the time of year, are in need of protection. You state that these landlords “will be fine” by not receiving rent for three months. How would you feel if you didn’t get paid for three months? I’m not a landlord. I just get annoyed when people make claims that “this won’t hurt” when they are removed from the realities of whether it will hurt or not. So, do you think that once these people get a break on their rent after not paying for three months, they’ll suddenly be able to catch up, just because the weather is warmer? The opportunity to make money on that apartment is gone, but the property tax is due twice a year. I don’t hear any of the Council folks suggesting a moratorium for them on their taxes. Or when the roof needs to be replaced. Or when they need to pay their insurance.

RWK
RWK
1 year ago
Reply to  HTS3

Thanks for pointing out that, in many cases, landlords will STILL not get paid after waiting out the three month, no-eviction procedure. How is this fair?

Kudos to Jenny Durkan for her proposal. She is quietly doing something which will actually help stressed renters, as opposed to Sawant who is not doing this and who only wants to grandstand by bashing landlords.

Eric
Eric
1 year ago

People need to get their heads around the fact that activists like Sawant are only interested in identifying the “bad guys” and punishing them. She is not interested in solutions. Effective progressive leaders like Durkan solve problems.

compassionatelandlordnomore
compassionatelandlordnomore
1 year ago

I’m a landlord. I used to do what I could to accept renters with poor credit, not enough income and limited rental history, but don’t plan to any more. Now that a crappy renter can just stop paying in August, make one or two protests to their eviction and drag it to November 1st, they can get away with not paying rent for 8 months. What a stupid law. Don’t imagine any landlords will take marginal renters any more…

Carys
Carys
1 year ago

That’s fair. Bigger and luxurious buildings aren’t affected by this law because their expensive rentals are out of reach for marginal people. If the city wants to spend tax dollars to pay 3 months rent, well renters might as well take advantage of the freebie.

Curious
Curious
1 year ago

I guess I better read the details on this – is it specifically just for those struggling financially BUT are good tenants or can disruptive/damaging tenants also get protected? Hope not. That would be a nightmare in the making if that stipulation was not clear in eviction protections.