Eviction moratoriums and other COVID-19 safety restrictions extended

A number of COVID-19 relief measures have been extended, including eviction moratoriums and reduced utility bills for qualifying Seattle residents.

Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the extensions earlier this week, which include moratoriums on residential, nonprofit, and small business evictions in Seattle through June 30, 2021. Additionally, the Utility Discount Program—which lowers Seattle City Light bills by 60 percent and Seattle Public Utility bills by 50 percent—will continue for income-eligible households and those facing economic hardships.

“While there is hope on the horizon, the work of recovery is just beginning. Seattle residents and businesses continue to feel the economic impact of this pandemic, and we will not successfully recover if we do not include the recovery needs of low-income communities and small businesses,” Durkan said in a statement.

“Help is here with President Biden’s historic rescue package. President Biden signed into law a plan includes more assistance to families and additional rental assistance to set Seattle residents, our business, and our neighborhoods up for a strong and swift recovery.”

Under the eviction moratorium, property owners cannot issue termination notices or initiate eviction with the courts unless there’s an imminent threat to the health and safety of the community. The order also protects tenants from incurring late fees, interest, or other charges due to late rent payments during the moratorium. Property owners are encouraged to offer flexible rent payment plans during this time.

If you have received an eviction notice during the moratorium, you can call the Renting in Seattle hotline at 206‐684‐5700 or go online to submit a complaint.

The Mayor’s Office last week passed legislation to the Seattle City Council to provide $22.7 million in rental and utility assistance to support low-income families affected by the pandemic.

Along with the moratorium, the executive order extends suspensions put in place to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 such as closing all public-facing customer service counters at Seattle events.

Temporary loading zones for restaurants and small businesses, and temporary parking for hospital and human services staff have also been extended under the order.

Keep in mind that the 72-hour parking ordinance will be reinstated starting April 1; more details on that later.

Photo: Office of the Mayor