We are thrilled to share the wonderful news that we won! Tacoma City Council unanimously passed the tenant protections on Tuesday November 20th! Over 50 of us were there in support and dozens addressed the Council, urging them to pass the ordinance. We are deeply grateful to all the tenants and supporters who have fought so hard for this new code, and we thank the Tacoma City Council for listening to us and voting yes! Shout out especially to ChiQuata Elder, Landlord Tenant Coordinator, and all the City staff who worked so hard to make this happen.
The City is already getting heat from landlords over these new protections, and it is imperative that we supporters share with the Mayor and Council Members how crucial these protections are, and how much we appreciate that the Council did the right thing for tenants and the right thing for Tacoma. Please take a moment to thank them by sending an email expressing your gratitude. Their email addresses are here:
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Below is just some of the media coverage:
Tacoma News Tribune Editorial: “Tacoma renters with low to moderate incomes are finding themselves increasingly at the mercy of landlords willing to take advantage of our region’s competitive housing market. It’s why a new city ordinance tops our list of things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.”
Tacoma Weekly: “The group plans to champion the issue in the coming year both within the city and with state lawmakers during the next legislative session with the argument that just cause policies are needed to avoid landlords from discriminating against tenants.”
Q13 News: “This is just the beginning, said Seay. “We’re not stopping; we’re going to the state; we’re going as far as we can go.”
Komo News: “It’s amazing,” said Seay. “It just goes to show you what can happen when people actually come together.”
On November 20th, we also shared objections to a possible amendment that would exempt single family rentals from relocation assistance and 120-day notices in the case of renovation, demolition, or change of use. We know that all renters need equal protections, especially the 37% in single family homes who are concentrated in Central, South, and East Tacoma. Fortunately, Council Members heard our concerns, and the amendment was withdrawn before going to a vote. The other amendments took valuable steps–including voter registration information for tenants and making the 60-day notice for rent increases take effect Nov. 30, instead of waiting until Feb 1.
Tacoma Tenants Organizing Committee also suggested the 60-day notice for termination of tenancy take effect immediately. We are concerned, based in part by comments from landlords, that some tenants may receive 20-day notices between now and the effective date of the Rental Housing Code, February 1st. We hope that landlords would not stoop to this level to avoid the impending laws, but we want to remain vigilant. If you or anyone you know receives a 20-day notice in the next month or two, please reach out to us: firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve had quite the journey getting to this point, but this is just the beginning! We still know we need to fight for Just Cause protections and rent control! And we need tenant protections to be implemented at the state level. We also want to make sure every tenant in Tacoma is aware of these new protections and knows to report any violations.
Look out for opportunities in the coming weeks and months to connect with us! Onward in the struggle for housing justice!
Tacoma Tenants Organizing Committee