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.
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