Director's Rules

Draft rules

The number of people living unsheltered in encampments has increased substantially in the last several years. Unauthorized encampments sometimes obstruct the normal use of public property and sometimes are health and safety hazards for encampment occupants and the general public. Removing unauthorized encampments reduces their impact on the surrounding community but also disrupts the lives of the already vulnerable people living in them. Since 2008, the City has had specific rules for the removal of encampments that balance providing services and alternatives to people living in encampments with the health and safety benefits of removing encampments.

In 2016, Mayor Murray formed a Task Force on Unsanctioned Encampment Cleanup Protocols to make recommendations on changing the encampment removal rules. In October 2016, he announced the Bridging the Gap to Pathways Home plan. This plan increases short-term support to people living without homes while longer-term strategies are reorganized. A part of the Bridging the Gap plan is rewriting the rules for removing encampments. Compared to the existing rules, the new rules:

  • Identify specific criteria for prioritizing the removal of encampments.
  • Require the offer of a shelter alternative in order to remove many encampments.
  • Require the City to deliver materials it stores from encampments to their owners.
  • Streamline the process for removing encampments that obstruct the intended use of public facilities like sidewalks and parks.

The City is soliciting public comment on the proposed rules through Wednesday, Feb. 15. Interested parties may send their comments to:

Mail: City of Seattle
Department of Finance and Administrative Services
Attention: Frances Samaniego
P.O. Box 94689
Seattle, WA 98124-4689

There are four documents that relate to the proposed rules:

All four documents. For convenience, this file contains all four documents listed above.

Finalized rules

We are compiling a list of FAS' director's rules and will add to this list soon.