Seattle has long been experiencing a housing and homelessness crisis, well before the pandemic hit – now that crisis has taken on new urgency. Tens of thousands of working-class renters in our city have lost jobs or income due to the crisis, finding themselves with rental debt and potentially facing eviction. Evictions not only increase rates of homelessness, they have been directly linked with increases in COVID transmission and death rates making preventing eviction an urgent public health priority.
Nearly 90% of evictions in Seattle have led to homelessness. Evictions deeply disproportionately affect Black community members and women. Guaranteeing renters facing eviction the right to legal representation in court has been proven to dramatically reduce rates of eviction. In fact, it also substantially reduces the number of eviction filings by corporate landlords.
It is primarily corporate landlords who are the most evicting landlords, who exploit renters without legal help. Please SIGN & SHARE this petition demanding the Seattle City Council pass Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s Right to Counsel legislation guaranteeing ALL renters facing eviction the right to access free legal counsel with NO LOOPHOLES, NO EXCLUSIONS, and NO MORE DELAYS! https://forms.gle/HweKgSSxPYhskHgp6