State Watch

Eviction ban extended in Seattle

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Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell (D) on Wednesday announced he will be extending his city’s eviction moratorium for another 30 days, citing the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases amid the spread of the omicron variant.

“As this rapid surge in cases driven by the Omicron variant drives further pandemic uncertainty, keeping vulnerable people in their homes must be the immediate focus,” Harrell said in a statement.

The eviction moratorium is now scheduled to end on Feb. 14.

“Over the next month, we will continue to track changing conditions and seek improved metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of the moratorium and aligned policies,” Harrell added. “Our actions will continue to be driven by data and our values, focused on preventing a rise in homelessness and supporting the tenants and small landlords most in need.”

In his new order, Harrell instructed his administration to develop an “outreach and education plan” for Seattle residents at risk of being evicted; create an advisory group of tenant advocates and small landlords and collect relevant data on the moratorium’s effectiveness, among other measures.

“In this Executive Order, I am directing City departments to use the next 30 days to urgently and comprehensively collect and analyze needed data around the pandemic’s effect on the housing crisis and impact of the eviction moratorium, improve accessibility and delivery of assistance resources, and prepare targeted outreach to tenants most at-risk of eviction,” said Harrell.

In September, former Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) extended the city’s eviction moratorium until January, just a few days before it was meant to expire.

“While we face the unexpected rise of the Delta variant, this next extension will ensure every level of government can provide rental assistance and housing support to tenants and landlords, which is critical to stabilizing the community as we reopen and recover,” Durkan said at the time.

The city’s eviction moratorium has now been extended seven times since it was first put in place in March 2020.

Tags Bruce Harrell COVID-19 variants Eviction moratorium Housing Jenny Durkan Landlord–tenant law Omicron variant SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant Seattle Washington

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