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Sawant to Durkan: Ban All Evictions and Foreclosures During Coronavirus

Sawant suggests eviction and foreclosure moratorium to help both working people and struggling small businesses

Seattle, WA — Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle), sent a letter to Mayor Jenny Durkan today, her second this week, urging the Mayor to use emergency powers to address the needs of working people in Seattle in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. She is also urging further substantive help for struggling small businesses.

In her letter, Sawant mentions that the city of San Jose has already taken important actions by adopting a moratorium on evictions. 

In her letter Sawant demands:

  • A ban all economic evictions and late fees – both for residential and small business
  • A ban on all coronavirus-related home foreclosures
  • Sawant also urges requiring landlords, utilities, and residential mortgage-holders to work out payment plans that allow tenants and homeowners who are suffering economically due to the coronavirus epidemic up to 24 months to fulfill their payment obligations; and, 
  • Requiring all residential landlords to extend expiring leases until at least three months after the end date of the emergency declaration.  
  • Additionally, Sawant reiterates the need to expand shelter for the thousands of people living on the street, by re-signing the Northlake Tiny House Village lease, and also by funding the immediate siting and construction of at least 8 new tiny house villages.

From her letter:

“…The coronavirus crisis is beginning to ravage our community … Working people are seeing reduced, and even entirely eliminated, paychecks, and they will find it difficult if not impossible to pay the rent or mortgage beginning next month. We need the City to act urgently to prevent what could potentially be thousands of working families facing eviction, bankruptcy, or both.”

survey last year found that 60 percent of Americans are unable to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense, and indeed even under normal circumstances, most people would be in a bind if they missed even one paycheck. 

Also from the letter:

“…In Seattle right now, tens of thousands of workers – gig economy workers, service economy workers, small business workers, workers in entertainment industries, retail workers, office workers, and others – are waking up worried about basic survival. Without the City’s immediate intervention, renters will be evicted and small business owners will go bankrupt. The human cost will be incalculable…I urge you to take these steps immediately, to provide the basic economic security that working people need and deserve during this historic crisis.”

The letter in its entirety is available ONLINE.

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