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Council News Release

8/1/2007  2:00:00 PM
Brian Hawksford, Rasmussen Office (206) 684-8808

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen

Committee is working on condo conversion issue before 2008 Legislative session

SEATTLE Councilmember Tom Rasmussen is pleased to welcome the Washington State House of Representatives Housing Committee to City Hall for a work session on the effect of condo conversions on affordable housing. During the last legislative session, Councilmember Rasmussen worked closely with state Housing Committee chair Mark Miloscia and other committee members to address the loss of apartments and displacement of renters caused by conversion of apartments to condominiums. That legislation, unfortunately, died before it was voted on by the full state House and state Senate. The Committee members and Rasmussen pledged to work together to pass legislation next year. Councilmember Rasmussen said, I am very pleased that the members of the state Housing Committee are taking this issue so seriously. I am optimistic that we can pass legislation during the 2008 legislative session to provide real help for Seattles renters.

Last years proposed legislation would have helped low income renters with the costs of moving and would have provided more notice to purchase or move out of their apartments. Over 5,000 apartments or about three percent of Seattles rental stock have been converted to condominiums since 2004. Councilmember Rasmussen said, State law controls renters rights when apartments are converted to condominiums. Seattles vacancy rate is now less than 3% and the law needs to be updated to help people whose lives are being disrupted by being forced to move. I am confident we can agree upon legislation that balances the rights of property owners with the need to help people who are impacted by the conversions.

Who: Washington State House of Representatives Housing Committee and invited guest speakers including tenants, advocates, and housing developers.
What: Work session on the effect of condo conversions on affordable housing
Where: Bertha Knight Landes Room, First Floor, Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Ave
When: Friday, August 3, 10 a.m.


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