Governor Inslee Accepts RHAWA Feedback. Eviction Moratorium Not Extended
On February 29, 2020 Governor Inslee announced a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 18, 2020 that became the basis for the statewide eviction moratorium. Initially slated to end after only a month, on April 17, 2020, we have seen extension after extension.
These continued extensions that delayed solving the root problem, pushed the legislature to introduce a number of permanent changes to the RLTA in addition to temporary, COVID related protections. In addition the legislature demanded that the eviction moratorium be allowed to expire on June 30, 2021. The Eviction Resolution Pilot Program had already been developed and implemented by the courts. Several hundreds of millions of dollars had been allocated locally, statewide, and federally to address the rental debt.
Yet still the Governor decided to give us another two extensions. The "Eviction Moratorium Bridge" proclamation went against the will of the legislature and yet again delayed the usage of the systems and protections they developed. With the initial "bridge" proclamation ending on September 30, 2021 and the subsequent extension until October 31, 2021, rental housing was left as the only industry that was unable to work to get out of the pandemic.
After 20 months, the Governor agrees with RHAWA, Governor Inslee announced today that he will not be extending the moratorium further.
When asked why there would not be an extension, he referenced the ERP, rental assistance, and the right to counsel for indigent tenants. He also said, "We cannot have an economy, ultimately, where nobody pays rent." A sentiment that housing providers have shared with him for the nearly two years under the moratorium.
We will now be able to move forward and utilize the systems that we have helped put in place and work our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic.