County Council approves expanding housing opportunities

Protecting renters and homebuyers using Social Security, housing subsidies to pay rent

From a press release:

How you pay for your home should not prevent you from having a place to live. The Metropolitan King County Council on Monday unanimously adopted legislation prohibiting landlords or home sellers from denying people housing based on how they would pay for the unit.

“For many in our communities, stable housing is a ticket out of generational poverty,” said Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the sponsor of the ordinance. “I’m very pleased to have sponsored this ordinance, the passage of which this month was especially fitting as it reflects the 50th Anniversary of the Federal Fair Housing Act. With that in mind, 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.”

The adopted legislation extends the list of protections that are already part of the Open Housing chapter of the King County Code. Landlords and home sellers in unincorporated King County—where the County has land use regulatory authority—will be prohibited from denying housing for potential tenants who have a verifiable alternative source of income, such as Social Security. The legislation also includes housing subsidies including Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers, state Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) funds, or rapid rehousing assistance.

King County joins the cities of Bellevue, Kent, Kirkland, Redmond, and Seattle in adopting housing policies that prevent discrimination against people using these types of alternative income sources.

The County Code already prevents landlords and home sellers from denying housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, marital status, parental status, participation in the Section 8 program, sexual orientation, disability, or use of a service or assistive animal by an individual with a disability.

More in Northwest

Thom Cantrell, one of the organizers of the upcoming International Conference for Primal People, holds up a mould of a Sasquatch footprint. He said the mould was taken in the Blue Mountains in Oregon by Paul Freeman, a well-known Sasquatch hunter who’s 1994 footage of a Sasquatch in that area made big waves in the believer and skeptic communities alike. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
All things Sasquatch in Enumclaw

Washington state is famous for countless reasons. It’s the birthplace of Starbucks… Continue reading

Walkers rest amid the trees at Island Center Forest on Vashon Island, which is part of King County. Many trees around Western Washington are struggling, including Western hemlock on Vashon, likely from drought stress. Photo by Susie Fitzhugh
King County forests are facing new challenges

Hot, dry summers are stressing native tree species in Western Washington.

Jim Pitts stands on walkway overlooking filtration chambers at the King County South Treatment Plant in Renton. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Human waste: Unlikely climate change hero?

King County treatment plant joins effort to counteract effects of carbon dioxide.

Washington State Capitol Building. Photo by Emma Epperly/WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Legislation targets rape kit backlog

WA has about 10,000 untested kits; new law would reduce testing time to 45 days

The 2015 Wolverine Fire in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest near Lake Chelan. Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Natural Resources/Kari Greer
Western Washington faces elevated wildfire risk in 2019

Humans cause majority of fires in state

Courtesy of kingcounty.gov
King County approves bargaining agreement with 60 unions

Employees will receive wage increases and $500 bonus.

File photo
Law enforcement oversight office seeks subpoena power

Organization has been unable to investigate King County Sheriff’s Office.

Call for peace, unity, understanding

City, county and state leaders show support of Islam community in wake of massacre at New Zealand mosques

King County bail reform hinges on pretrial decision making

Data on inmates has shown that being held pretrial affects the likelihood of conviction.

Clues for fixing King County’s child care woes may be found in British Columbia

B.C. struggles with many of the same problems as Washington state.

A look inside the King County Juvenile Detention Center. File photo
King County is still using solitary confinement on juveniles

Report on solitary confinement shows the county is not honoring its agreement.