Amazing tenant protections have passed at the state level and will take effect July 28th! This victory is due to the tireless advocacy from tenants and organizations across the state including, TTOC, the WA Low Income Housing Alliance, the Tenants Union of WA, and WA Community Action Network. Shout out to everyone who fought for these bills. And deep thanks to the elected officials who sponsored and supported these bills, especially the lead sponsors Rep. Macri, Rep. Kuderer, and Rep. Robinson and the Tacoma area representatives whose leadership was vital: Rep. Jinkins, Rep. Morgan, and Sen. Darneille.
- Senate Bill 5600/HB 1453 provides 14 days for tenants to catch up on rent before being evicted, instead of just 3. Providing this additional time prevents tenants from getting evicted and becoming homeless. It begins to address the severe injustice of our current housing system.
- House Bill 1440 requires landlords to provide 60-day notice for all rent increases. We won this protection in Tacoma, and now it will apply to tenants across the state!
- House Bill 1406 allows local municipalities to dedicate sales tax revenue to fund low income housing, without an increase in the tax.
- The Housing Trust fund was allocated 175 million to fund low income housing across the state.
We are disappointed that some of the other key protections we fought for did not become law. The Just Cause bill (requiring landlords to provide a legitimate reason to terminate a tenancy) made it out of Committee in the House (which shows the strength of tenant organizing across the state). We must continue to organize and build our movement to win this necessary protection! Landlords are already suggesting ways around the new laws by issuing no-cause notices instead of 14-day pay or vacate, which just demonstrates how vital the Just Cause protection is. We are also continuing to push for rent control to help keep tenants stable in our homes.
TTOC is gearing up for a tenant outreach and education project this summer and fall. We will be working with local neighborhood based organizations to hold tenant rights workshops to make sure tenants are aware of their new rights in Tacoma and across the state. We’ll be canvassing in neighborhoods to spread the word about the meetings and the new protections. Stay tuned for the dates, and please let us know if you’d like to volunteer to participate in the outreach for the meetings.
Are you a renter in Tacoma? Have you received this information packet from your landlord? If not, please let them know that you are supposed to receive it. If there is still no response, you can contact the City of Tacoma’s landlord tenant coordinator by dialing 311.
Finally, I want to let you all know that the Nichols family is moving to Columbus, Ohio at the end of July. We are very sad to lose Molly but also excited for her new adventure. Being part of the Tacoma Tenants Organizing Committee has been such an incredible experience, and we are grateful to Molly who has been our leader in this movement for housing justice in Tacoma and beyond!
Hope to see folks at the meeting on June 10th! On June 24th we will discuss our leadership transition and plans for the future. The July meeting is on July 1, so please mark your calendars for that one as well!