Will the Legislature seek to extend Governor's Eviction Ban long term?
After enduring twelve months of emergency eviction bans from the Governor, the State Legislature is now poised to create new eviction ban policies through legislation that will extend housing provider constraints for many months or potentially years. The Washington Legislature begins session in eleven days (January 11, 2021) and it will likely be the first legislative action since the Governor declared the state of emergency in March 2020 (on Dec. 31 the governor formally released an extension of his COVID emergency provisions).
RHAWA’s advocacy team has already been meeting with lawmakers to help them understand how the Governor’s orders are impacting small housing providers. While there has not been a bill introduced yet, the Senate Housing Committee has indicated that eviction prohibitions and reform will be at the forefront of their work in the upcoming session.
RHAWA’s Government Affairs team has participated in continual negotiations with the Governor’s office in order to improve the emergency orders, but even with these meetings and the workgroup sessions the Governor has continued to extend the eviction bans and has implemented very little of what has been requested by the rental housing industry. Without widespread rental assistance by the State, tenants will be unable to pay the rent owing and housing providers are potentially going to be left holding the bag. RHAWA will continue to leverage our advocacy efforts to ensure that the State provides sufficient rental assistance for housing providers.
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