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Council News Release

10/1/2012  3:07:00 PM
Lisa Herbold, Councilmember Licatas office, 206-684-8803
Dana Robinson Slote, (206) 615-0061

Council President Sally J. Clark
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
Councilmember Tim Burgess
Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Nick Licata

Seattle City Council approves rental housing inspection legislation

Seattle The Seattle City Council voted today (5-0) to approve rental housing inspection legislation, improving living conditions for Seattle's more than approximately 269,000 renters occupying 147,000 rental units. Council Bill 117569 provides a multi-faceted approach to addressing Seattle's sub-standard housing through a registration and inspection program.

"I have great hopes that this program will improve the conditions of renters living in substandard housing. A similar program in Los Angeles has resulted in a $1.3 billion re-investment in the City's rental housing stock while costing tenants in LA less than $13 year," said Councilmember Nick Licata, Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee Chair.

"This law protects senior citizens and thousands of other residents throughout Seattle by ensuring that their rental homes are safe," added Councilmember Tim Burgess."We listened carefully to both the tenant groups and the apartment owners, and the resulting law proves that collaboration can accomplish great things for our city."

"Tenants deserve safe and livable housing and landlords need clear and reasonable inspection regulations," said Council President Sally J. Clark."This legislation makes both of those things happen and has a realistic roll out plan."

"This legislation is the result of years worth of conversation and making sure we remained focused on protecting the health of renters," added Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. "This was a successful collaboration of many stakeholders, all concerned about quality of life."

"This legislation reinforces the simple notion that tenants are entitled to basic standards of health and safety," said Councilmember Jean Godden.

In June 2010, the Seattle City Council adopted Ordinance 123311, creating a rental housing registration and inspection program. At the same time, the Council also adopted Resolution 31221, requesting that the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) convene a stakeholder group and report back with recommendations for implementing the rental housing registration and inspection program.

The Stakeholder Group met 14 times between December, 2010 and January, 2012, resulting in a series of recommendations on the scope of a rental housing program. The current legislation passed out of the City Council's Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee after eight committee meetings on September 26, 2012 with a vote 4-0.

For a summary of elements of the program, clilck here.

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