At long last, we have a proposed Council Bill to implement a rental housing registration and inspection program that will allow us to get more information about the number and location of rental units in Seattle as well as the means to improve rental housing conditions for Seattle residents. I am reviewing it in my committee today at 2:00. You can review the materials here.
I know that the vast majority of rental units in the city meet basic standards of habitability; still, we know that some units that do not. The City has a complaint-based system. This program will continue. However, not all of the units with hazardous conditions are reported due to lack of knowledge of code standards or the complaint-based system and/or fear of retaliation. In June 2010, the Seattle City Council adopted Ordinance 123311, creating a framework for rental housing licensing and inspection program, the new bill before the Council now answers a number of policy questions unaddressed in Ordinance 123311 concerning the registration and inspection requirements.
My City Council Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee met four times March through May, providing the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) direction on the preparation of this current draft legislation.
DPD will be accepting comment on this Draft Legislation until Monday, July 23, 2012. You can email your comments to RentalHousingRegistration@seattle.gov or you can mail them to: Rental Housing Registration and Inspection Program; DPD; P.O. Box 34019 Seattle, Washington 98124-4019. If you’d like to read more, see here.
After the end of the comment period, there will be still more review and opportunity for comment and discussion following the submittal of the legislation to City Council, anticipated in late August.