OLYMPIA, Wash. — In a press conference Thursday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced that the eviction moratorium would be extended to October 31.
Inslee said the extension would give counties additional time to get rental relief money to the people who need it.
The federal government had sent more than a billion dollars in rental assistance to Washington state but the distribution of the funds has been slow. About 25% of that money has been given out so far.
However, the distribution of the funds has been slow. Only about 25% of that money has been given out, allowing renters more time to stay in their homes.
Although Inslee is concerned about renters, he is also concerned about landlords too.
Jeff Christensen, who owns a company managing 260 rental properties, demonstrated to KIRO 7 how he has been handcuffed due to the eviction moratorium.
He wore a chain around his wrist with a lock on it and said “This is what has to stop. I wish. If I could see the governor, I would do exactly the same thing.”
Christensen said his fellow property managers don’t believe there is an eviction crisis anymore.
“We’re not experiencing huge numbers of people that are going to be subject to eviction because of nonpayment. It’s 3 to 5 percent,” said Christensen.
And some of those people are causing a big problem for landlords with their own financial obligations.
“Literally some of them give us the finger because they feel empowered, I don’t have to pay my rent. They don’t have to pay their utility payment. It hurts the owners because some of the smaller utility companies go after the owner,” Christensen said.
Federal regulations have delayed assistance payments but the governor said the rules have been streamlined.
“We did not think it made sense to end the moratorium while we had millions of dollars sitting in our pockets not distributed to these tenants,” Inslee said.
With the rules now streamlined, renters and landlords should be getting their payments faster.
Inslee believes this is the last time he will have to extend the eviction moratorium.
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