Eviction Moratorium Will Expire at the End of February

Announcing a final two-week extension of the eviction moratoria, Mayor Bruce Harrell issues directive to support vulnerable tenants and small landlords through $25 million in emergency assistance, online resources

Seattle – Today, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced that residential and commercial eviction moratoria will expire at the end of the month of February. Mayor Harrell will issue an Executive Order extending the residential eviction moratorium from February 14 through February 28, after which the moratorium will not be renewed.  

“With COVID cases steadily declining, the time has come for the City to move on from the broad approach of the eviction moratoria and instead drive more deliberate and focused efforts to support those most in need,” said Mayor Harrell. “In addition to distribution of all available emergency rental assistance, truly vulnerable tenants – those still suffering significant pandemic-related financial hardships – will continue to have enhanced eviction protections, while at the same time small landlords have needed clarity as they evaluate how to move forward.” 

All residential tenants who demonstrate enduring financial hardship preventing them from paying rent will receive continued eviction protections for at least six months after the end of the moratorium, providing additional security for those most at risk through a specific legal defense created by ordinance. Seattle residents facing eviction are also afforded a right to legal counsel and additional eviction protections based on time of year. Landlords will be able to move forward with evictions proceedings for other purposes, such as those listed in the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance

Mayor Harrell’s latest Executive Order comes after convening a work group of tenant advocates and small landlords, who through multiple meetings with Mayor Harrell provided input around impacts of the pandemic and the effects of the eviction moratorium informed by lived experience. 

During the next two weeks, Mayor Harrell will review reports created by interdepartmental City teams defined in his previous Executive Order to evaluate data, improve existing efforts, and seek additional solutions. 

As part of those efforts, Mayor Harrell has directed the Office of Housing to urgently distribute over $25 million in identified funding to support renters and small landlords, complementing funding being allocated by King County.

Mayor Harrell has also directed the City staff to develop a website to connect tenants and small landlords to available financial resources, information on rights and protections, and other critical updates needed as the moratoria ends. 

“As we work together toward to a new normal, we know we’re not yet out of the woods of this pandemic,” said Mayor Harrell. “The City of Seattle will continue to take action to support those most in need – striving to protect the health and well-being of our residents, prevent homelessness and undue financial hardship, and build One Seattle with abundant opportunity for all and thriving, vibrant, connected communities.”