Recent Blog Posts
Michele Thomas, Director of Policy and Advocacy
Activity in Olympia heated up this week with a lot of new bills introduced and with hearings and lobby days that drew massive crowds. The halls were once again packed, and people from all walks of life sat in hearing rooms and testified on bills that touch on an incredibly diverse set of issues.
Getting By With A Little Help From Our Friends
Our partners over at the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence held their lobby day on Thursday the 31st and this brought in hundreds of advocates who educated lawmakers on the importance of the Fair Tenant Screening Act, which was dropped earlier this week in the House. Don't forget to take action by saying thank you to the legislators who support the bill (box on the right).
Housing and homelessness issues were again brought to the attention of many lawmakers this week.
A standout was the Thursday work session on farmworker housing in the House Community Development, Housing, and Tribal Affairs Committee. The panel members, including Housing Alliance board member Marty Miller, educated the committee on the great need for farmworker housing.
HB 1529 or Part 2 of the Fair Tenant Screening Act has nine sponsors. Please take a minute to thank them for standing up for fair and accurate screening reports.
Simply click the link below and send from your personal email address. If you have time, please personalize the email. Emails written in your own voice mean a lot to our legislators!Stanford 1st - Bothell
Jinkins 27th - Tacoma
McCoy 38th - Everett
Riccelli 3rd - Spokane
Fitzgibbon 34th- West Seattle
Reykdal 22nd- Olympia
Pollet 46th - North Seattle
Orwall 33rd - Federal Way
Roberts 21st - Edmonds
Marty, who is also the executive director of the Yakima-based Office of Rural and Farmworker Housing, explained to the committee how important it is for affordable housing that serves very low-income populations to have access to operations and maintenance (O&M) support, a need that may go unmet because the state’s O&M account is strapped. You can hear his testimony below:
This week also saw some incredible movement on one of our support Items. SB 5147 by Senator Jim Hargrove, which will fix a sunset of the 72-hour notification requirement of youth shelters, continued its impressive progress when it passed the Senate floor unanimously. This is exciting and no doubt a result of the excellent work that youth advocates have been doing to educate elected officials on the need to address youth homelessness.
On the down side, a whole slew of bills were introduced that would dismantle fundamental protections for Washington’s tenants. Many of the bills seek to weaken eviction protections and one, SB 5062 would even allow landlords and neighbors to seek the arrest of tenants who they accuse of unlawfully residing in a rental home.
The Housing Alliance will be weighing in on all such bills in an effort to ensure that this legislative session doesn’t result in a weakening of our already too fragile tenant protections.