Washington State Eviction Moratorium Set To End Sunday After 19 Months

After 19 months, the state’s pandemic-related eviction moratorium will end Sunday (October 31st, 2021). Gov. Jay Inslee confirmed Thursday there will be no more extensions.

“We’ve done about all we can do,” Inslee said during a news conference. “We’ve given [counties and cities] millions and millions of dollars of cash, and it’s up to them to get it distributed.”

Some counties have done better at that than others, said Jim Henderson, lobbyist for the Rental Housing Association of Washington. For example, Pierce County has been touted at the federal level as one of the most efficient counties in the country at disbursing the rental assistance funds, he said.

Many of the agencies distributing aid across the state have “picked up the pace,” Inslee said, adding that his bridge program will provide a right to counsel for tenants and prevents anyone from facing immediate eviction. 

Last month, Inslee extended the moratorium, which started in March 2020, through the end of October. At some point it needs to come to an end, he said. 

“We can’t have an economy, ultimately, where nobody pays rent,” he said. “You have to have some transition and we are moving to that transition.”

That transition has yet to come for the renters in Seattle, where the moratorium has been extended through Jan. 15. It had been set to expire Sept. 30 after being activated over a year and half earlier, on March 14, 2020.

Now that the state moratorium is over, Henderson said, landlords can begin the process of connecting delinquent renters to resources and information so they can get the assistance they need.

Mediation and dispute resolution centers, which are part of the state’s Eviction Resolution Pilot Program, connects tenants to resources who may have yet to navigate the assistance system. 

“This doesn’t mean the assistance doesn’t go away,” Henderson said of the expiration. “When you have a resident that is unable to pay rent we can give them all this information which helps them get help.”

Source: Puget Sound Business Journal | Article Link: Washington state eviction moratorium set to end Sunday after 19 months – Puget Sound Business Journal (bizjournals.com)

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