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Seattle Renters’ Commission urges City of Seattle to enact eviction forgiveness measures

Members of the Seattle Renters' Commission

Members of the Seattle Renters’ Commission have issued a statement urging the City of Seattle to enact eviction forgiveness measures that will prohibit the use of eviction records older than 3 years when determining eligibility for housing and seal all eviction records after 7 years.

Excerpts from letter:

“Poor families, immigrants, people of color, women, and LGBT communities are hardest hit by the housing crisis, but how Washington State and the City of Seattle handle evictions is making that impact worse. When families can’t afford their rent because of a job loss or a health crisis, they face losing their homes through the eviction process. And even if they go on to recover financially and pay their rent in a timely manner for 3, 5, or even 10 years, that eviction will remain on their record forever and may be used by landlords to deny them housing. When there are no laws in place to seal eviction records or to prohibit their use after a set period of time, our most vulnerable neighbors can be denied housing for a single eviction.”

“In our society, even if an individual (or corporation) has made foolish financial choices and misused credit cards and other credit instruments, they can file bankruptcy and many of their debts are forgiven. Even after only a few years post-bankruptcy, credit card lenders are willing to lend bankruptcy filers money again. So why is it that we do not forgive our neighbors who’ve succumbed to eviction? None of us needs a credit card to live but certainly we need safe shelter.”

Read the full statement from the Seattle Renter’s Commission on our website under “Statements from the Commission.”

The Seattle Renters’ Commission (SRC) provides information, advice, and counsel to the Mayor, Seattle City Council, and departments concerning issues and policies affecting renters. Learn more at The SRC is staffed by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.