Seattle (December 16, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan has signed a new Executive Order extending COVID-19 relief measures for residents and continuing the moratoriums on residential, nonprofit, and small business evictions in the City of Seattle through March 31, 2021. On Monday, the City Council unanimously passed the Mayor’s proposed extension temporarily suspending late fees on delinquent utility accounts. The Seattle Public Utilities Utility Discount Program’s Self-Certification Pilot Program is extended until June 30, 2021, which can lower Seattle City Light bills by 60 percent and Seattle Public Utility bills by 50 percent.
“Our region is still very much in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. New cases and hospitalizations are as high as they have ever been, and residents and businesses continue to feel the deep, economic impact of this crisis. This pandemic has put people out of work, caused families to struggle to put food on the table and pay rent, and caused some of our most beloved small businesses to shutter for good,” said Mayor Durkan. “We put one of the first in the nation moratoriums on evictions in place early in the pandemic to help keep people in their homes and keep businesses afloat. These efforts, coupled with our work over the last several months to provide tens of millions of immediate financial relief to residents, workers, and small businesses, are critical to helping our communities in this immensely challenging year. The City of Seattle cannot do it alone – we need Congress to act to provide our workers, residents, small businesses, and cities urgent assistance.”
While the residential eviction moratorium is in place in Seattle, property owners may not issue notices of termination or otherwise initiate an eviction action with the courts unless there is an imminent threat to the health and safety of the community. Along with halting evictions, the order also prevents tenants from incurring late fees, interest, or other charges due to late payment of rent during the moratorium. However, tenants are still legally obligated to pay rent during the moratorium and landlords are encouraged to offer flexible payment plans. Residential tenants who receive any eviction notice during the moratorium should contact the Renting in Seattle hotline at 206‐684‐5700 or go online to submit a complaint. The City of Seattle has committed $18 million to rental assistance in addition to state and King County resources for landlords and tenants. The City of Seattle is closely following any action taken at the state and federal level regarding moratoriums.
The moratorium on eviction of nonprofit and small business commercial tenants apply to independently-owned businesses with 50 employees or fewer per establishment, state nonprofits, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Along with halting evictions, the order also prevents eligible small businesses and nonprofits from incurring late fees, interest, or other charges due to late payment during the moratorium. For additional questions please see the Office of Economic Development's COVID-19 Lease Amendment Tool Kit.
The Executive Order also extends suspensions put in place to help limit the spread of COVID-19 along with programs designed to limit the economic impact of the pandemic on Seattle residents and small businesses. These extensions include closures of all public-facing customer service counters at the City of Seattle, and suspension of enforcement on the 72-hour parking rule and City permitted events. Temporary loading zones for restaurants and small businesses, and temporary parking for hospital and human services staff have also been extended.
The City continues to maintain a comprehensive resource page for residents and small businesses impacted by COVID-19. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.