Shelter is a basic human need, essential for equitable, healthy, safe, and stable communities. However, rent increases are forcing vulnerable populations like seniors, single parents, and veterans to grapple with impossible choices between paying rent or paying for medication, food and other basic needs.
This session, you have the opportunity to help tens of thousands of seniors, single parents, veterans, and other low-income renters stay in their homes through rent stabilization. Specifically, rent stabilization includes:
- Reasonable and more predictable rent increases: Allow landlords to increase rent by 3% or inflation, whichever is higher, but not more than 7% (HB 1389/SB 5435)
- Stop rent increases from being a tool to punish, displace or deny tenants of their rights: Tenants can challenge excessive rent increases or violations of their rights (HB 1388)
- Flexibility for landlords: Exemptions for major repairs, new buildings, hardship or when the landlord “banked” rent increases by not raising the rent in prior years. (HB 1389/SB 5435)
- Protect vulnerable tenants: Limit predatory rental fees and prohibit rent gouging. (HB 1388)
Importantly, rent stabilization is different from rent control. While rent control would freeze rent indefinitely, rent stabilization simply prohibits predatory landlord practices and standardizes rent increases to match inflation. These policies are necessary to protect the agency and rights of tenants and ensure that Washingtonians are able to maintain access to housing.
Urge your lawmakers to support this critical legislation!