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Seattle eviction moratorium extended into 2022

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Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is extending the city's moratorium on commercial and residential evictions through the remainder of her term in office, ending in early 2022.

"I as mayor, looking at where we are in this pandemic, am very cognizant with the rise in delta; we have had increased pressures on families, businesses, workers," Mayor Durkan told KUOW. "So I have made the decision (to) extend the residential eviction moratorium. I think it’s the appropriate and right thing to do."

Seattle's eviction moratorium was slated to end September 30. Through a new executive order, it will now last through Jan. 15, 2022. The next mayor will takeover from there. This is the sixth time the moratorium has been extended since March 2020, amid the ongoing pandemic.

“This gives the next mayor the opportunity to assess where we are, but really protects us against a whole range of issues, leading among them is that we know now that thousands in the Seattle region are behind on their rent," Durkan said. "The last thing we can afford is a floodgates of people losing their housing stability at a time when we already have a homelessness crisis. We need to keep people stable as we continue through this really difficult situation.”

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The mayor's office notes that about 60,000 renters are behind on rent in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties; about 47,000 owe more than one month's rent.

The U.S. Census Bureau's most recent Household Pulse Survey also found many renters dont expect to be able to pay next month's rent, with about two-thirds of respondents reporting they're afraid they'll be evicted within two months.

About $15 million in relief funds from the American Rescue Plan have been distributed to Seattle area renters, landlords, and community organizations during the pandemic. Another $28 million was approved by the city in August.

Under the moratorium, Seattle landlords cannot evict a residential tenant unless there is a threat to health and safety. They cannot charge late fees or interest on late rent. Tenants are still obligated to pay rent, however.

The same protections are in place for commercial tenants, independent businesses with 50 or fewer employees, and nonprofits.

Tenants who receive an eviction notice during the pandemic are encouraged to call the Renting in Seattle hotline at 206-684-5700.

Mayor Durkan also extended utility programs prompted by the pandemic, including the moratorium on utility shutoffs and discounts offered to some residents. The mayor's office plans to announce further details about utility programs in the future.

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