Seattle Landlords Required to offer Repayment Plan

ON May 15, 2020 Mayor Durkan has signed No. 119788 requiring Seattle landlords to allow residents who did not pay their rent during the city declared emergency beginning on March 3, 2020 and for six months after the order is lifted a repayment plan:

0-1 Months' rent: Three consecutive equal monthly installments

+1-2 Months' rent: Five consecutive equal monthly installments

+2 Months' rent: Six consecutive equal monthly installments

No late fees may be accrued until one year after the moratorium is terminated in Seattle.

 

A. A tenant who fails to pay rent when due during, or within six months after the termination of, the civil emergency proclaimed by Mayor Durkan on March 3, 2020, may elect to pay such overdue rent in installments. The tenant shall pay one month or less of overdue rent in three consecutive, equal monthly installments. The tenant shall pay over one month and up to two months of overdue rent in five consecutive, equal monthly payments. The tenant shall pay over two months of overdue rent in six consecutive, equal monthly payments. Any remainder from an uneven division of payments will be part of the last payment. The tenant may propose an alternative payment schedule, which, if the landlord agrees to it, shall be described in
writing and signed by the tenant and landlord and deemed an amendment to any existing rental agreement.

B. No late fee, interest, or other charge due to late payment of rent shall accrue during, or within one year after the termination of, the civil emergency proclaimed by Mayor Durkan on March 3, 2020.

C. If a landlord issues a notice to terminate tenancy for nonpayment of rent that was due during, or within six months after the termination of, the civil emergency proclaimed by Mayor Durkan on March 3, 2020, the notice must contain the following statement: “City law entitles you to pay overdue rent in installments. If your landlord does not accept payment according to the installment schedule, you may raise this as
a defense to eviction in court.” It is a defense to eviction if the notice does not contain the required information.

D. An award of attorneys’ fees and statutory court costs to a landlord arising from an eviction proceeding raising defenses authorized by this ordinance is prohibited unless otherwise allowed by law.

E. Failure of the owner to accept payment under the installment schedule provided in subsection 2.A of this ordinance is a defense to eviction.

Four Lawsuits Filed Against Gov. Insleee

At least four lawsuits have been filed against Inslee. Links to full copies of the four complaints are below. Three were filed May 5th.

Didier vs Inslee is a class action filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington. The western district is that portion of Washington west of the Cascades. It alleges Inslee has committed violations of various portions of the state and federal constitutions and statutory violations of 42 USC sec. 1983 (violation of civil rights.)

Another filing on May 5th was in state court. Simper vs Inslee, alleging Inslee's orders closing schools is unconstitutional.

Freed vs Inslee was filed on April 22nd in federal court and alleges Inslee's order restricting religious gatherings and services violates constitutional protections of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and due process.

McEwan vs Inslee was also filed May 5th in federal court. Plaintiffs are members of the Washington legislature. They allege violations of the US Constitution, the Civil Rights Act, and the state laws allowing Inslee to make his emergency orders are unconstitutional.

Resident Resources in Tacoma and Pierce County

Tacoma and Pierce County Resources

 

Pierce County DSHS Community Services Offices (877) 501 – 2233

Program offers numerous financial assistance programs, including one known as Emergency Assistance.

Community Action Programs – Pierce County Community Services - 866-223-1359

Provides financial assistance, including housing, to low income Pierce County residents.

Metropolitan Development Council 253-597-6728

Program offers low-income housing and rent help for low-income families and individuals. Other assistance may include help with child care for homeless families, loans to pay rent as part of eviction prevention, funds for utility bills, or family counseling.

Our Lady Queen of Heaven 253-537-5266

Program is part of Saint Vincent de Paul, is a charity in the Tacoma Washington area that assists Pierce County residents with rent, utilities, bus tickets, and gas.

Tacoma Assistance Human Rights and Human Services Department (253) 682-3401

Program is a Centralized Intake Program for all Housing Related Services.

Tacoma Housing Authority (253) 207-4400
They operate low-income housing programs, provide section 8 HUD vouchers as well as other services. Section 8 from HUD is the main government rental and low-income housing program. Referrals are also given to homeless prevention, job, budget, and debt programs.

Helping Hand House (253) 682-3401.

Program offers assistance to families with children offering limited financial assistance for paying monthly rent or back rent to families with children in Pierce County. You need to have an eviction notice to apply.

Pierce County Veterans Bureau 253-798-7449

Program offers various forms of help to low-income and homeless veterans in Pierce County. Find help with rent, utility and heating bills and food assistance.

Saint Martin of Tours phone (253) 970-9037)

Program runs a multitude of housing and rental programs. Also access landlord and tenant dispute resolution.

Homeless Prevention Programs  (206) 694 – 6767

Program offers referrals to rent help to prevent an eviction.

Diversion is a form of Eviction Prevention. Non-profits in the region may have money to help rehouse families as well stop a tenant from being evicted. ESG grants may be used for paying rent, the distribution of motel vouchers to the homeless, and utility or security deposit costs. Other support is offered too for low income families struggling with rental expenses.

More information on Pierce County eviction help: https://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/pierce_county_eviction_assistanc.html

Tacoma Power:

This link provides information around utility updates. (Currently the lobby is closed) There is also a link to the utility bill assistance on-line application. There are extra funds and higher income requirements.

Local Landlord and Non-Profit Seeking Real Estate Loan

Two Deals:

  1. Local landlord seeking short term loan of $1.0M for up to eighteen months to purchase a 11 unit commercial office building in Pierce County tax assessed at $1.4M.
    1. All units occupied with lower rents ($8,300 p/m).
    2. All tenants are long term - 90% have been in the building for more than 10 years.
    3. Tenant on month-to-month agreements
    4. Tenant pay eletric
    5. Property tax $20,000 annually.
  2. Local Pierce County non-profit seeking investors and a loan for up to $500K to purchase real estate in Pierce County with at least 5 bedrooms. Non-profit needs to be able to house at least five families of women and children.

If you are able to help, please email me for additional information.

Credit reports are now free, every week

The three national credit reporting agencies are giving people weekly access to monitor their credit report — for free.

To get your free reports, go to AnnualCreditReport.com.

If you’re one of the many Americans struggling to pay your bills right now because of the Coronavirus crisis, click here for what you can do.

 

 

Seattle Provides Residence with Six Months of Additional Eviction Protection

For six months after the city moratorium is lifted by the Mayor, Seattle residence experience a financial hardship and who submit a declaration can use non-payment of rent as a defense to an eviction (CB 119784).

Additionally, González introduced a second bill (CB 119788) that would more clearly set up payment plans for back rent between tenants and landlords.

A tenant who fails to pay rent when due during, or within six months after the termination of, the civil emergency proclaimed by Mayor Durkan on March 3, 2020, may elect to pay such overdue rent in installments. The tenant shall pay one month or less of overdue rent in three consecutive, equal monthly installments. The tenant shall pay over one month and up to two months of overdue rent in five consecutive, equal monthly payments. The tenant shall pay over two months of overdue rent in six consecutive, equal monthly payments. Any remainder from an uneven division of payments will be part of the last payment. The tenant may propose an alternative payment schedule, which, if the landlord agrees to it, shall be described in writing and signed by the tenant and landlord and deemed an amendment to any existing rental agreement.

“The goal of these two pieces of legislation is to create more breathing room and flexibility for tenants as thousands wait for unemployment insurance as well as cash and/or rental assistance,” González said in the release.

Washington State Provides Rent and Energy Assistance

Commerce provides $9 million in rent and energy assistance to serve estimated 5,000 low-income households

April 28, 2020

Washington state residents currently participating in the federal Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may apply for special crisis benefits

OLYMPIA, WA — The Department of Commerce last week provided up to $1,000 in rental assistance and up to $500 in energy assistance for households that qualify for the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The crisis funding will be distributed through Commerce’s statewide network of community action agencies, and is expected to serve an estimated 5,000 eligible households.

“Imagine not having enough funds to pay rent, the heat bill, and put food on the table. Thousands of families in Washington face this predicament, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this crisis in our state,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “We are working with our partners to disperse this funding as quickly as possible.”

Community action agencies will distribute the money on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order is in place. Of the $9 million available, 15% is available for rental assistance. Tenants who are behind in their rent and meet the other qualifications for crisis benefits must apply to their local community action agency. If approved, the rental assistance payment will be made directly to the landlord.

Similarly, those unable to pay their energy bills must apply through their local community action agency. When approved, the benefit is paid to the utility that serves the qualifying household.

Click HERE for who can apply.

 

APPLY NOW: Tacoma Rental Assistance Now Available

LASA will be accepting applications for Tacoma COVID-19 Rent Assistance until May 6, 2020.

Households residing within Tacoma's city limits will be eligible to be entered into a lottery for a one-time rent assistance if their household's income or employment was impacted by COVID-19.

Individuals experiencing problems submitting their online application, needing language assistance or requesting special accommodations, may call LASA's Homeless Prevention line (253) 582-5320 Monday thru Friday from 10am - 12pm.

Please have the following available on your phone, tablet or smart phone to upload with your application:

1) documentation of loss of income or employment; and

2) lease or rental agreement.

START

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 22, 2020

The City of Tacoma Launches Rental Assistance Program

The City of Tacoma has allocated $1.2 million to assist eligible households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with rent payment.

The program, which launched today, provides a one-time payment of up to $1,000  directly to  landlords of selected individuals or families who live in the city limits of Tacoma and have experienced loss of employment or reduction in wages due to COVID-19 resulting in an income level at or below 50 percent Area Median Income for Pierce County.

 

"Doing what we can to stabilize families is an essential part of our efforts to protect and support public health,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “This is why I am excited that we have moved quickly to launch this COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program. In this time of great uncertainty, these payments to landlords are one small way we can ease the worries of our impacted neighbors and provide some stability while they connect with expanded State and Federal Resources."

 

To apply for the City’s rental assistance program, people can submit an application online at cityoftacoma.org/coronavirus. The application will be accepted through May 6, 2020, and will be included in an award lottery. In keeping with the City’s Welcoming Cities Policy, we will not be tracking or providing information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement about immigration or citizenship status.

 

Some funds have been set aside for direct referrals by community agencies that are helping to address inequities faced by people of color in our community.  If you are a service provider that would like to make a direct referral, please contact LASA at [email protected].

 

“While we know COVID-19 is affecting all people, we also know that people of color face additional systemic barriers that result in disparate health and economic outcomes,” said Deputy Mayor Keith Blocker. “We must take action to address this inequity, which is why we have set a goal to distribute 45 percent of the funds to households identifying as people of color.”

 

People who need translation services or have trouble accessing the online link, can call (253) 582-5230 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to noon for assistance.

 

The City is anticipating the program will be able to process about 100 applications per week and to complete the distribution of funds over a fifteen-week period.

More information about the City’s response to COVID-19 is available at cityoftacoma.org/coronavirus.

City of Tacoma Pledges $1.2M for Rental Assistance

Tacoma has pledged $1.2 M in rental assistance for residence in the city of Tacoma.

Qualifications:

I will update you when the link is live.