News Condo Conversion Cap Fails Again…
posted by January 18 at 13:59 PMon
..but there is some good news.
Low-income housing advocates scored two big wins in the state house today. Rep. Eric Pettigrew’s (D-37, South Seattle) bill to prevent landlords from discriminating against Section 8 tenants passed 63–37. The senate version, sponsored by Sen. Adam Kline (D-37, South Seattle) will get a hearing next week.
And Rep. Jeannie Darneille’s (D-27, Tacoma) bill to prevent cities from using building zoning laws to prevent landlords from renting out to special-needs tenants (domestic-violence victims, recently homeless renters, tenants with drug problems, sex offenders) passed the house 97-0. The Republicans liked the bill because it was seen as clearing out the red tape for landlords.
For more details on both bills, check this Slog post from earlier this week.
As for condo conversion, the house passed a bill that would guarantee compensation and guarantee the amount of time a displaced tenant had to move out. Bill sponsor Rep. Maralyn Chase’s (D-32, Shoreline) amendment to up the compensation from $500 to the equivalent of three months rent also passed. However, her amendment to up the time tenants had to move from 120 days to 180 days did not.
The big disappointment was this: Chase’s amendment to give cities the right to cap conversions on buildings where 50 percent of the rentals were low-income failed.
Chase says the cap amendment failed because people believed she was calling for a statewide moratorium. Despite the bad news on the cap, she called the 94-3 vote a “huge victory” because the legislation will force people to confront issues of homelessness. “53 percent of the people in shelters are children,” she says. “What are we doing to our families?”