I have decided to endorse and volunteer to support Washington Community Action Network (Washington CAN) in their Stable Homes Initiative in Federal Way. This initiative is incredibly important in our community by enacting stronger renter protections for Federal Way families who face displacement from rapid, unjust, and retaliatory evictions.
This transformational initiative would require landlords to have “Just Cause” for terminating a lease or refusing to renew. A “Just Cause” to evict a tenant means non-payment of rent, a lease violation, property destruction, unlawful activity and squatting. Landlords must act in good faith when making life-altering decisions that affect vulnerable tenants living from paycheck to paycheck. In addition, other protections of this initiative include giving tenants the ability to live with family members (subject to building code restrictions). Should a tenant unfortunately pass away, the remaining tenants would automatically get to take over the lease.
One of the leading causes of the homelessness crisis in our region is evictions. As someone who ran for office to advocate for working families, I fully support this initiative. It could lead the way in keeping families housed, while acknowledging how much we value people from all walks of life in our community; veterans, first responders, educators, health care providers, low income families and seniors by creating municipal laws to protect them from discriminatory evictions.
We also know that forced displacement is incredibly detrimental – a recent survey by the Housing Justice Project found that out of families evicted, 85% of children had to change schools, which hurts their education and health, as well as the well-being of the broader community.