Seattle – Today, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced that residential and commercial eviction moratoria will expire at the end of the month of February. Mayor Harrell will issue an Executive Order extending the residential eviction moratorium from February 14 through February 28, after which the moratorium will not be renewed.
“With COVID cases steadily declining, the time has come for the City to move on from the broad approach of the eviction moratoria and instead drive more deliberate and focused efforts to support those most in need,” said Mayor Harrell.
All residential tenants who demonstrate enduring financial hardship preventing them from paying rent will receive continued eviction protections for at least six months after the end of the moratorium, providing additional security for those most at risk through a specific legal defense created by ordinance. Seattle residents facing eviction are also afforded a right to legal counsel and additional eviction protections based on time of year. Landlords will be able to move forward with evictions proceedings for other purposes, such as those listed in the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance.
Mayor Harrell’s latest Executive Order comes after convening a work group of tenant advocates and small landlords, who through multiple meetings with Mayor Harrell provided input around impacts of the pandemic and the effects of the eviction moratorium informed by lived experience.
During the next two weeks, Mayor Harrell will review reports created by interdepartmental City teams defined in his previous Executive Order to evaluate data, improve existing efforts, and seek additional solutions.
As part of those efforts, Mayor Harrell has directed the Office of Housing to urgently distribute over $25 million in identified funding to support renters and small landlords, complementing funding being allocated by King County.
Mayor Harrell has also directed the City staff to develop a website to connect tenants and small landlords to available financial resources, information on rights and protections, and other critical updates needed as the moratoria ends.