Council adjusts rental housing code

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Tacoma City Council passed a resolution on Feb. 5 related to the rental housing code, requiring fines collected from landlords be specifically directed to relocation assistance for renters. The Council approved the measure last November, with the intention that the money would go to tenants. This resolution will specify that the money collected over the next three years will go to that purpose. After that time, the Council will need to reconsider the topic.

Councilmember Catherine Ushka said this wording was not included in the original language of the law. She said after three years, the amount collected could be a lot or a little.

Councilmember Lillian Hunter noted the city has conducted four outreach meetings on the rental code, which have been attended by renters and tenants. She said she hopes this law is more about educating people than generating money. Hunter said in three years there may be no money in this fund “because of wholesale compliance with the code.”

Linda Stewart, director, Neighborhood and Community Services, told the council there will be administrative costs for this program, probably in an amount less than $20,000.

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