Legislatively, 2020 was a year of extremes. The WMFHA Advocacy Team and members used their voices loud and clear in a most challenging legal environment.
980 members sent 1,978 industry advocacy messages to lawmakers throughout the year.
We defeated statewide policies including rent control, just cause eviction, capital gains taxes, individual utility metering, tenant screening limitations, and transfers of damages at tenant moveouts. We successfully lobbied for additional funding for the Tenancy Preservation Program, paying past due rent and permitting tenants to remain in their homes. We also helped create the Landlord Mitigation Fund, covering a landlord’s losses for damages left unpaid by tenants.
When COVID-19 hit, we advocated for rental assistance and helped secure $100 million for our state. We made changes to statewide eviction moratoria to permit termination for owner sale and occupancy. We worked on clarifying the role Sheriff offices play in a Writ of Restitution. Additionally, we placed two key members on our Governor’s eviction moratorium stakeholder group.
Additionally, we helped create a comprehensive mitigation fund so domestic abuse survivors can break their lease, keep their security deposit, and focus on their safety without unnecessary financial burdens.
Using member survey data, we became the premier source of local monthly rent delinquency data for media outlets and policymakers. In the news, almost 200 media stories included our industry commentary to balance the narrative, such that we were prompted to create an “In the Press” webpage.
Advocacy success in 2020 was the multifamily voice spreading far and wide.