Coronavirus: Inslee announces eviction moratorium extension

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Following his announcement of rollbacks to the state’s “Safe Start” plan concerning restaurants, bars and more, Gov. Jay Inslee also announced another extension to the statewide eviction moratorium.

Inlsee said more specific details on the extension are coming. The previous eviction moratorium was set to expire Aug. 1.

The Gov. said the extension “directs my staff to convene an informal working group of landlords and tenants to discuss potential changes to this order in the short-term and the long-term, if an additional extension is needed.”

Inslee said his staff will reach out to stakeholders and members of the legislature soon and added that the extension comes with certain expectations.

“I expect landlords and tenants to remain in communication,” Inslee said. “If you haven’t spoken to them since March, when we first announced this moratorium, it’s imperative that you do.”

The governor went on to explain that the extension is meant to protect renters from falling into homelessness, but added “it does not give you the right to refuse to pay rent if you have the means to do so.”

Inslee said the proclamation also does not allow landlords to harass or intimidate tenants.

“This proclamation allows for ways to constructively collaborate on securing payments.” Inslee said.

Inslee went on to explain that criminal behavior and other threats to public health and safety are still a cause for evictions.

The governor said his office has released $100 million in CARES ACT funds for rental assistance through the Department of Commerce to help landlords and property owners keep their businesses running.

Inslee said the federal government also released approximately $120 million in HUD funding to be used for shelter operations and rental assistance.

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