Seattle mayor calls for protection of tenants using rent subsidies

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is asking the City Council to extend civil-rights protections to people paying rent with government subsidies and other alternative sources of income.
News Story (Washington)

Daniel Beekman
Seattle Times
April 19, 2016

Tags: Housing: Discrimination

Organizations mentioned/involved: Columbia Legal Services (Washington State)


Merf Ehman, a staff attorney at Columbia Legal Services, said the new ordinance is needed because people using non-wage sources of income are being treated unfairly by some landlords in Seattle.

“We recently represented a client whose landlord gave notice to all the tenants in the building that rental subsidies would no longer be accepted,” Ehman said in the release.

“We also saw an admissions policy where a landlord will not accept tenants with protected income like retirement or disability benefits,” she added, referring to a policy requiring tenants to have garnishable income. “Landlords should not be able to discriminate against people just because they are retired, disabled or utilize a subsidy.”