King County Accepts RHAWA Amendments on Contentious Just Cause Ordinance

Posted By: Alex Robertson Advocacy ,
We are happy that despite a rocky start, councilmembers and specifically the sponsors of the ordinance were willing to meet with RHAWA staff, Board of Directors, and lobbyists to hear our concerns, and listen to our proposals. Many of our proposed amendments were adopted and we look forward to being able to work with the King County Council again on future housing policies.
King County Ordinance 2021-0131 has been a highly contentious proposal. Capping move-in fees, late fees, establishing just cause, increasing the rental increase notice period and prohibiting the requirement of a social security number in tenant screening. The original proposal was rushed out of the Community, Health and Housing Services Committee without the proper work being done and without a thorough stakeholder process. The ordinance was referred to the Committee of the Whole in order to have legal review and allow for more robust policy discussions.
The additional timeframe allowed us to meet with many of the councilmembers to discuss the propsal and suggest amendments. After our meetings, many councilmembers understood our concerns and were willing to work with us. As a result, many of the amendments proposed by us were adopted today when the ordinance passed.
"This legislation is not about demonizing landlords, and I denounce all the of demonizing that we've heard before. The commentary painting landlords as corporate profiteers. That is not right. Someone opening up their home to provide housing is good and an incredibly important service."
- Councilmember Zahilay
Below are three clips from the sponsors of the bill, Councimembers Kohl-Welles and Zahilay, from today's council hearing