Councilmember Licata left office on January 1, 2016.
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Monday Full Council Vote on Rental Housing Inspection Legislation


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On Monday, October 1, the Seattle City Council will cast the final vote on Council Bill 117569, rental housing registration and inspection legislation, a program that I have been working slarge-apt-building-entranceince early 2010, and before that since 2006 to get state authorization for such a program.

In June 2010, the Council passed  Ordinance 123311, creating a rental housing registration and inspection program. At the same time, the Council also adopted Resolution 31221, requesting that the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) convene a stakeholder group and report back with recommendations for implementing the rental housing registration and inspection  program.  The Stakeholder Group met 14 times between December, 2010 and January, 2012, resulting in a series of recommendations on the scope of a rental housing program.  The current legislation passed out of the City Council’s Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee on September 26, 2012 with a vote 4-0 after eight committee meetings in 2012 alone.

In their last assessment of housing quality in Seattle, a survey showed that about 10 percent of rental units in Seattle have severe to moderate problems.  The Department of Planning and Development gets about 500 complaints a year about rental housing conditions.  If there are about 147,000 rental units and 10%, or 14,700 have problems, then that means only about 3.5% of the folks living in the worst housing are using DPD’s complaint-based code enforcement system.  For this reason, I’m pleased that the Council was able to agree to knit together an approach of making safe the housing that we know now is not safe and inspecting – over the next 10 years – the rest of the city’s rental housing. In this way we will significantly improve the condition of unsafe rental housing.

For a summary of elements of the program, visit http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Compliance/RentalHousing/Overview/default.asp.  For more resources for tenants see the Tenants Union.

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Comment from S Myrick
Time October 1, 2012 at 8:46 am

This is a stupid stupid law that is a huge overreach! I cannot afford to pay for an inspection. I will be forced to pass the costs on to my tenants. It will increase the cost of housing. My house was recently remodeled with excellent amenities. Completely safe, but you are increasing my hassle and costs for no reason.

Comment from gclub
Time October 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Thank you for this Article. I hope it will be good.

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