King County Council passes renter protections bill

The legislation is intended to prevent landlords from discriminating based on the source of a prospective tenant’s income.

The King County Council passed legislation this week that seeks to protect vulnerable people on the hunt for housing.

The ordinance, which was sponsored by Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, adds renters and homebuyers with verifiable incomes from Social Security, retirement programs, Section 8 Vouchers, and other government housing cost subsidy programs to the list of persons protected from landlord discrimination.

It builds on the county’s existing Fair Housing Ordinance of 1981, which prohibited landlords from denying prospective tenants and homebuyers housing based on their race, sex, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, disability status, and other characteristics.

The bill passed the council on April 16 with a unanimous vote.

“For many in our communities, stable housing is a ticket out of generational poverty,” siad Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles in a statement following the bill’s passage. “It’s important to recognize how far we have come but remember how much we still have left to do to ensure all people are treated fairly as they seek access to housing.”

Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, and Seattle have all adopted similar policies to prevent landlords from denying prospective tenants housing based on their income.

Research has shown that source-of-income discrimination is a major driver of geographic economic segregation and prevents low-income tenants from living in wealthier neighborhoods.

jkelety@soundpublishing.com

[flipp]

More in News

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17 at the state Capitol in Olympia. Marshall condemned Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, which expelled Rep. Matt Shea from the Republican Caucus. Marshall announced his candidacy for the 2nd District seat held by House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox. Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service
Gun rights advocates rally at Capitol

Criticism levied at Matt Shea investigation, Republican leadership.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (center) announced a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in a press conference Jan. 2. Debbie Warfield of Everett (left) lost her son to a heroin overdose in 2012. Skagit County Commissioner Lisa Janicki (right) lost her son to an overdose of OxyContin in 2017. They are joined by Rep. Lauren Davis of Shoreline (second from right), founder of the Washington Recovery Alliance. (TVW screenshot)
AG Bob Ferguson talks lawsuits, gun control

Washington state Attorney General stopped by Sound Publishing’s Kirkland office.

Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, the primary sponsor of SB 5323, speaking on the bill. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Sabio-Howell)
Proposed law adds a fee to plastic bags at checkout

Senate passes bill to ban single-use plastic bags, place 8-cent fee on reusable plastic bags.

Development has encroached on the East Lake Sammamish Trail (at right). Joe Livarchik/file photo
King County files lawsuit to finish East Lake Sammamish Trail

Homeowners have until September to remove buildings and other property from the right of way.

Bellevue residents Marko and Karla Ilicic play a hockey game in the Topgolf Swing Suite inside Forum Social House. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
Forum Social House opens in Bellevue

Eastside gets new nightclub, mini golf, swing suites.

In November 2019, Washington voters approved Initiative 976, which calls for $30 car tabs. Sound Publishing file photo
Republicans try to guarantee $30 car tabs amid court hangup

Lawmakers sponsor companion bills in the House and Senate.

King County Metro’s battery-electric bus. Photo courtesy of kingcounty.gov
King County could bump up Metro electrification deadlines

Transportation generates nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

Sound Transit station. File photo
Construction on Eastside-related light rail project begins

Travelers should expect delays until March.

The Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce presents the 2019 Business of the Year Award to Covenant Living at the Shores (CLS). From left: CLS’s Bob Bowen, Chamber of Commerce Board President Suzanne Skone, CLS Associate Executive Director Marykay Duran, CLS’s Leslie McGee, CLS Sales Director Nancy Woo, and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laurie Givan. Courtesy photo.
Chamber names Mercer Island Business of the Year

2019 award goes to Covenant Living at the Shores.

Most Read