Commentary: Extend eviction moratorium past August 1st
Letter to the Editor | Pam Hurst | Lynnwood Times
I thank Governor Inslee for taking action to protect renters from experiencing homelessness during this health pandemic by extending the eviction moratorium until August 1st. I’m aware that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, our state’s housing shortage has been creeping up on us since the 1960’s when cities across the state set up zoning restrictions to control growth but also denied housing access to many people. As an active Realtor for the past 15 years I am very aware that home ownership is a distant dream for the lower and mid-range wage earner which leaves thousands of people forced to rent. And now the economic crisis has put these people at risk of losing their housing.
Housing instability is especially a threat to people of color (POC). In our region 72% of POC households pay over half of their income for rent. We must continue the rental eviction moratorium until the economy recovers or until the federal government provides our state at least $2 billion as part of the relief package that is being debated in Congress.
Preventing homelessness is a priority that is in everyone’s best interest and the eviction moratorium is a crucial stop gap during these uncertain times. Once it is lifted, however, we must be ready with significant rental assistance funding to prevent a flood of evictions.
Pam Hurst, Lynnwood
Realtor, Member of Lynnwood’s Human Services Commission, 32 LD for the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance (WLIHA)