Spokane Tenant Protection Update
Due to the effort of WMFHA, RHA, Spokane Realtors, Landlord Association – Inland NW, and many individual members, the Spokane City Council originally delayed passage of tenant protection ordinance 36330 from December 5, 2022 to January 23, 2023 in order to have stakeholder meetings and a public forum. WMFHA was represented at these meetings and forum by Director of Government Affairs Ryan Makinster, Tisha Goodman with Rockwood Property Management and Ryan Lewis of Cowles Real Estate.
Throughout the process, we along with our partners have questioned what exact problem the council is trying to address so we can help craft a solution that will help those that need it while avoiding unintended consequences like increased liability for housing providers and the city as well avoiding the loss of rental units through attrition and disincentivizing new units.
After hearing from all stakeholders, including our industry which was left out of previous discussions, a new draft has been release which addresses many of the concerns highlighted and attempts to address a more concrete set of problems as defined by the council.
- The bill no longer charges a $10/unit registration fee, although registration is still under consideration.
- Makes proactive building code inspections and tenant protection enforcement more targeted towards repeat offenders
- Designates funding sources, other than housing providers for the new programs contained in the ordinance
- Creates “Housing Ombudsman
Due to the new draft, the final hearing on the ordinance has been delayed to the end of February (TBD)
Read original bill article including media coverage here.