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Archive for 'Councilmember Licata'

UP #382 – A Proposal for New Tenant Protection Legislation

Early yesterday, on October 14, 2015, I joined Councilmember Sawant in announcing our new proposal for protecting tenants facing rent increases. Our current law (Seattle Municipal Code 7.24.030) was a result of legislation passed 17 years ago, which I sponsored. It contains a range of protections for tenants. It requires landlords to give a minimum […]

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Councilmembers and Community Organizers to Join Tenants in Slumlord Protest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/6/2015

Councilmembers and Community Organizers to Join Tenants in Slumlord Protest

SEATTLE – Seattle City Councilmembers Kshama Sawant, Nick Licata and Mike O’Brien have joined with tenants and advocacy groups to call a protest against unlivable conditions and economic eviction at the hands of notorious Seattle slumlord, Carl Haglund.

Tenants will be joined Wednesday morning by Councilmember Kshama Sawant, King County Councilmember Larry Gossett, the Tenants Union of Washington State, the Low Income Housing Institute, LGBTQ Allyship, Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action, Standing Against Foreclosure and Eviction, the Seattle King County NAACP, the Transit Riders Union, and other housing justice activists.

The appalling conditions faced by tenants of Haglund’s Columbia City Condos at 6511 Rainier Ave S, and their courageous resistance, have been recently featured by several news outlets, detailing infestations of rats and roaches, mold, broken heaters and damaged electrical systems.

“Big Business, real-estate and landlord lobbyists argue that policies like rent control encourage slumlords. Haglund is a perfect example of how the opposite is true: Slumlords thrive in unregulated markets,” said Councilmember Sawant.

WHAT:
Rally to protest slumlord Carl Haglund’s treatment of tenants and the poor quality of living conditions at his properties

WHERE:
Carl Haglund’s Columbia City Condos Office
3818 S Edmunds St. (Corner of Rainier and Edmunds)
Seattle, WA 98118

WHEN:
Wednesday, October 7
8:00AM

WHO:
Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant
King County Councilmember Larry Gossett
Tenants of 6511 Rainier Ave. S and other buildings owned by Carl Haglund
Tenants Union of Washington State
Low Income Housing Institute
LGBTQ Allyship
Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action
Standing Against Foreclosure and Eviction
Seattle King County NAACP
Transit Riders Union
Local housing justice advocates

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Seattle City Council meetings are cablecast and Webcast live on Seattle Channel 21 and on the City Council’s website. Copies of legislation, Council meeting calendar, and archives of news releases can be found on the City Council website. Follow the Council on Twitter and on Facebook.

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Council Adopts Bill Protecting Tenants from Economic Eviction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/5/2015

Council Adopts Bill Protecting Tenants from Economic Eviction

SEATTLE – Council unanimously adopted a bill today to prevent landlords from drastically raising rents on low-income tenants for the purpose of evicting them without providing relocation assistance.  Currently, if a building is to be torn down or renovated, landlords must give tenants who have to move 90 days notice and pay $3,255 in Tenant Relocation Assistance to low-income households. Recently, there have been reports of low-income tenants’ rents doubling so they’ll voluntarily vacate, all so landlords can avoid paying the required relocation assistance.

The bill Council adopted today prohibits rent increases for the purpose of avoiding the required Tenant Relocation Assistance process. If a landlord increases rent by 20 percent or more, which results in a tenant vacating a unit within 90 days, then applies for a permit to substantially rehabilitate the unit within 6 months, the owner can have their building permit denied until the owner pays the penalties. Penalties are $1,000 per day for each day from the date the violation began.

“Landlords have been forcing low-income people from their homes without providing the time or resources necessary to help them relocate,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien, the legislation’s sponsor. “Today we closed a loophole, but there’s still so much more to do.”

Co-sponsor, Councilmember Nick Licata, said, “Each year tenants are deprived of critical relocation assistance following a massive rent hike due to state law allowing rent increases of any size.  This bill is important to stop what, over the years, an increasing number of property owners have learned they can do as a regular business practice.”

Liz Etta, Executive Director of the Tenants Union of Washington said, “This is a tremendous win for tenants in the city. Every day, we hear from renters who are forced to leave their homes over sky high rent increases. We are thankful to the City Council for this necessary protection, and for all they have done to keep Seattle equitable and affordable.”

If a tenant believes their rent has been raised for the purpose of eviction to avoid Tenant Relocation Assistance regulations, they should register a complaint with the Department of Planning and Development here: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/codesrules/makeacomplaint/default.htm

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Seattle City Council meetings are cablecast live on Seattle Channel 21, HD Channels 321 Comcast, 721 Wave and on the City Council’s website. Copies of legislation, Council meeting calendar, and archives of news releases can be found on the City Council website. Follow the Council on Twitter and on Facebook.

[View in Council Newsroom]

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City Council 2016 Budget Schedule

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today released his proposed 2016 budget and proposed 2016-21 Capital Improvement Program. The City Council’s Budget Committee will begin its consideration of the budget on Thursday, October 1, with an overview provided by the City Budget Office. Public input is vital to Council review and helps Councilmembers develop a budget that […]

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Murray, Councilmembers seek increased investment in youth arts programming, cultural space preservation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/25/2015

Murray, Councilmembers seek increased investment in youth arts programming, cultural space preservation

SEATTLE – Today Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess and Seattle City Council Budget Chair Nick Licata announced a proposal to increase the City’s investment in youth arts education and preservation of cultural spaces.

“Seattle is stepping up and providing arts education in schools that have not had it in years,” said Murray. “This investment aligns new and expanding programming with my vision for a vibrant, equitable city. Every child must have the same opportunity to learn through the arts and every resident must have access to the creative economy.”

Murray, Burgess and Licata are endorsing an increase in funding to the Office of Arts & Culture from the existing admissions tax levied on tickets at entertainment venues. The increased allocation from seventy-five percent to eighty percent of the admissions tax will add $400,000 per year for arts in the City budget. The mayor will introduce his full budget on Monday.

“As our city grows, we must invest in the culture of Seattle that has given us our unique identity and strength,” said Councilmember Tim Burgess. “Seattle is the entertainment and cultural center of the Pacific Northwest. Let’s make certain we provide strong public support for this vital sector of our economy.”

“Having requested this increase at the urging of the Seattle Arts Commission when I met with the Mayor in August of 2014, I am grateful to see him include it in his 2016 budget,” said Councilmember Nick Licata. “I urge Mayor Murray to work toward raising it to one hundred percent in the following years. The pressing need for affordable cultural space, quality arts education, and the imagination working artists bring to our city will not lessen anytime soon.”

The increase will fund expansion of The Creative Advantage and other education initiatives that support work readiness and job training through the arts. Creative Advantage brings together the City of Seattle, Seattle Public Schools, private nonprofit organizations, and the philanthropic sector to expand the availability of arts education in the schools.

Studies show that at-risk youth who have access to the arts in or out of school tend to have better academic results, better workplace opportunities and more civic engagement. Arts-infused learning in reading and math helps close the achievement gap between low-income children and children of color in comparison to white and more affluent students.

The mayor’s budget will also provide additional grant funding to support retention of arts and ethnic cultural spaces in our neighborhoods. Cultural spaces ensure neighborhood livability and vibrancy, and are anchors for many communities, including immigrant and refugees.

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Office of the Mayor

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Urban Politics #381: Council passes resolution in support of lifting state ban on limiting rent increases

The City Council did the right thing by passing a resolution (8-1, Okamoto) in support of local control of rent regulation, and asking the state legislature to lift the ban on cities limiting rent increases. The Council also requested that the Office of Intergovernmental Relations incorporate this position into the City’s forthcoming 2016 State Legislative […]

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Licata Lauds City Council Passage of Resolution in Support of Lifting State Ban on Limiting Rent Increases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/21/2015
Licata Lauds City Council Passage of Resolution in Support of Lifting State Ban on Limiting Rent Increases
SEATTLE – Councilmember Nick Licata issued the following statement after Council approved a resolution tha…

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Council Committee to Consider Ban on Limiting Rent Increases

City of Seattle
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/16/2015

Council Committee to Consider Ban on Limiting Rent Increases

SEATTLE – Council’s Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency Committee will consider a resolution on state prohibition of rent control tomorrow, which is co-sponsored by Councilmembers Kshama Sawant and Nick Licata. The resolution urges state legislators to change the Washington State law restricting local governments from instituting rent control or regulating rents. If the state ban were lifted, Seattle would have the option to pursue rent regulation legislation locally. Current state law does not allow cities to limit rent increases. Seattle has seen rent increases of up to 145% during 2015.

Councilmembers Sawant and Licata support having rent control as an option as part of a bold and comprehensive set of solutions to preserve affordable housing in Seattle.

Members of the public are encouraged to share their perspective during the public comment period at this Thursday’s 9:30 a.m. meeting. This will be Council’s first discussion on the resolution. Councilmembers Licata and Sawant debated the concept earlier this year at Town Hall Seattle in front of hundreds of spectators.

The committee is expected to vote on the proposal at the following meeting on Thursday, September 24 at 9:30 a.m. The resolution will then be considered at Full Council.

Councilmembers Licata and Sawant will be available after the committee meeting to respond to media inquiries.

WHAT:
Initial rent control discussion at the Council’s Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency Committee

WHERE:
Seattle City Hall
Council Chambers, Second Floor
600 4th Ave., Seattle 98104

WHEN:
Thursday, September 17
9:30 a.m.

WHO:
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Kshama Sawant
Members of the Council’s Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency Committee

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UP #378 Resolution to Lift State Ban on Limiting Rent Increases

I want to thank the 43rd Legislative District Democrats for voting unanimously last night to pass a resolution in support of legislation Councilmember Sawant and I are sponsoring to ask the state legislature to repeal or modify the state prohibition on restricting rent increases. I give a special thanks to Colin Maloney for submitting the […]

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UP #378 Resolution to Lift State Ban on Limiting Rent Increases

I want to thank the 43rd Legislative District Democrats for voting unanimously last night to pass a resolution in support of legislation Councilmember Sawant and I are sponsoring to ask the state legislature to repeal or modify the state prohibition on restricting rent increases. I give a special thanks to Colin Maloney for submitting the […]

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