A public hearing is being held to receive feedback on the proposed rent control ordinance.
SEATTLE — A special Seattle City Council meeting will be held Wednesday night to discuss rent control.
Committee on Sustainability and Tenants’ Rights is holding a hearing to solicit public input on Council Bill 120606 at 6 p.m. The bill proposes creating rent control provisions, anti-rent increase regulations and creating a council to allow exceptions.
CB 120606 will limit the maximum rent increase based on the annual inflation rate.
The bill, sponsored by City Councilmember Kshama Swant, is a trigger law. If passed, the committee’s measure would only take effect in Seattle if Washington state law RCW 35.21,830 has been repealed. Existing law prohibits rent control regulations, stating that “no city or town of any class may issue, maintain, or enforce ordinances… rent payable.”
If RCW 35,21,830 is revoked, the new ordinance will be active. The maximum annual rent increase will be fixed at that time. The Rent Control Board and the County Rent Control Board will determine any exceptions to the maximum extent. New rental units that do not replace older units will be exempt for the maximum, but only for the initial period.
Sawant said the need for rent control is down to people being overpaid.
“Rental increases are driving working-class households, communities of color, seniors and students out of Seattle,” says Sawant. “The for-profit market, dominated by real estate speculators, has failed us completely.”
Inflation has increased since the pandemic. The rental market does not accurately reflect price inflation. According to the Sawant office, rents increased by 69% from 2010 to 2018. During the same eight-year period, inflation increased by 20.3%.
The bill does not propose changes to the city’s budget, but the committee’s financial note said it would require additional staff for the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspectors to enforce the ordinance.
Those interested in commenting at the public hearing can apply online or in person. register online will begin two hours before the meeting. In-person registration will take place inside the meeting room at All Pilgrims. You must register at least 15 minutes before the meeting if you wish to speak in person.