Gov. Jay Inslee waves during his Thursday morning press conference on extending protections for renters. (TVW)
Gov. Jay Inslee waves during his Thursday morning press conference on extending protections for renters. (TVW)

Gov. Jay Inslee waves during his Thursday morning press conference on extending protections for renters. (TVW) Gov. Jay Inslee waves during his Thursday morning press conference on extending protections for renters. (TVW)

Governor extends some protections for Washington renters

Under a new order, landlords can only evict a tenant if they refuse to seek help through a relief program.

Washington tenants will have more time to catch up on rent payments without fear of being evicted. 

On Thursday (June 24), Gov. Jay Inslee announced an order that protects renters after the state’s eviction moratorium expires June 30.

Starting Aug. 1, landlords can evict tenants who refuse to seek help from a rental relief program or a repayment plan, under the new proclamation, which runs through September.

“I’m proud of the things we’ve done to protect families from homelessness during the COVID pandemic,” Inslee said during a news conference. “This extension is a bridge that will support both tenants and landlords during this transitional period.”

This week’s announcement comes after housing advocates across the state asked the governor for more time to get rental assistance programs up and running, as well as for existing ones to work through a backlog of tenants needing help.

Relief dollars were not expected to reach many landlords before the eviction moratorium expired.

“The money is there, it’s just the process,” Inslee said. “There’s no shortage of cash in the drawer. We just need the functioning grant-making process, the application process and the clearance process to get these grants out the door.”

Earlier this year, the Legislature earmarked $500 million for rental assistance. Another $650 million from the federal government should be available in July.

Though the total amount of past-due rent during the pandemic could be as high as $1.2 billion — averaging about $110 million each month, officials said.

So far, only six counties, including King County, have implemented the state’s Eviction Resolution Pilot Program, which aims to settle disputes between landlords and tenants, while also helping renters find relief.

“We need local leaders to carry the ball to start the processes,” Inslee said. “I’m reasonably confident this is going to get done.”

Inslee’s bridge plan also means more time to implement a new right-to-counsel program for indigent tenants.

“These are achievable ends for tenants because there’s multiple ways to prevent eviction here,” Inslee said.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Police lights
Federal Way graduate charged with murder in South Seattle homicide

Sadiq Aroni, 22, is accused of driving two people who allegedly shot a 20-year-old man in June.

File photo
Brief history of rats in the Puget Sound region – and the problem they present

Local exterminator noticed big change in rats over the past 40 years.

t
Kent Police face 21 officers leaving force; fewer applying

13 resigning, 8 retiring so far this year among 160-member department

Sponsor of the motion to establish guidelines for the removal of encampments, Councilmember Reagan Dunn (courtesy of King County Council)
King County Council discusses policy for removal of homeless encampments

Still unclear what the standards will be, who will enforce it, and how jurisdictions will interact.

t
Two people shot, injured while driving along I-5 in Kent

Shots fired from passing vehicles near SR 516 at Boeing commuters

File photo
Man killed in Federal Way Sunday night shooting

No suspect, circumstance information yet, according to police

Elaine Simons, former foster mother of Jesse Sarey, addresses a crowd outside the Maleng Regional Justice Center on Aug. 24, 2020, moments after Auburn Police Officer Jeff Nelson was formally charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault in the May 31, 2019, shooting death of 26-year-old Sarey in front of a north Auburn convenience store. File photo
Supreme Court rules officers can be compelled to testify about killings

In a joint lawsuit against King County, the Washington State Supreme Court… Continue reading

Most Read