Council Approves New Tenant Protections Ordinance

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The Tacoma City Council approved a new ordinance that enhances tenant protections by extending the eviction notification requirement from 20 to 90 days in the city of Tacoma when tenancy is being terminated due to demolition, substantial rehabilitation or change of use of a residential dwelling and adding a new subsection 1.23.050B.40 to the Tacoma Municipal Code, which places appeals related to violations of Chapter 1.95 in the jurisdiction of the Hearing Examiner.

Ordinance 28508, which will become effective 10 days after publication, will sunset at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 30. The temporary ordinance is intended to provide interim enhanced protections as the City develops further recommendations to address housing and tenant protections for City Council consideration.

“Having experienced homelessness in my life I understand the hardship caused by the affordable housing crisis and the need for enhanced tenant protections,” said Councilmember Keith Blocker. “To address the immediate needs of the residents at the Tiki Apartments, we have been in contact with the new property owner, who has agreed to provide additional time for tenants to relocate and extended the notice of eviction to June 30, 2018. The city is committed to continued coordination of service delivery with our community partners to ease residents’ transition as we begin to work toward long-term solutions for our community.”

Ordinance 28508 will not address the emergent need of residents who have already received notification of termination of tenancy, yet city leaders recognize the urgency for assistance.

“The rising cost of housing in Tacoma impacts us all, but being displaced in this climate creates a particular hardship for our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Mayor Victoria Woodards. “While the landlord in this case offered to go beyond the minimum requirements of the law, we as leaders need to ensure that other tenants in the city have sufficient time to relocate and to access the services they need to keep a roof over their heads.”

The city continues to be committed to ensuring that Fair Housing Law and Landlord-Tenant Rights are not violated. For more information about the city’s Landlord-Tenant Program go to cityoftacoma.org/OEHR.

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