MARCH 15, 2018 Posted By: Brett WallerAdvocacy News
Washington Multi-Family Housing Association (WMFHA) welcomes the passage of Engrossed Third Substitute House Bill 2578 establishing statewide source of income protections, and creating the Landlord Mitigation Fund in statute. The new law, which will take effect September 30, decreases the burdens on rental housing providers associated with participation in state and federally regulated subsidy programs and provides consistent statewide protections for all residents of the State regarding their source of income.
WMFHA worked with Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane), Rep. Andrew Barkis (R-Yelm), Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) and Sen. Mark Mullett (D-Issaquah) to negotiate the bill, which addresses many of the concerns rental housing providers have regarding the administration of subsidized housing programs in Washington State. Creating statewide source of income protections for individuals with housing subsidies has been an effort low-income housing advocates have lobbied for nearly a decade.
“WMFHA’s participation in this process was critical to crafting a law that will work for both landlords and tenants,” Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D-3rd) stated. “I look forward to continuing to work with WMFHA as this law is implemented and identify more ways to reduce barriers for families while partnering with the multi-family housing industry to create incentives and protections for everyone involved.”
Under the Landlord Mitigation Fund, rental housing providers will have the opportunity to:
- Obtain reimbursement for repair costs at the initiation of tenancy,
- Recoup lost rental revenue resulting from subsidy provider inspection delays, and
- Obtain reimbursement for damages, including unpaid rent and unpaid utilities caused to units rented by subsidized tenants.
This win-win scenario eliminates concerns rental housing providers have while waiting for inspections, and provides an opportunity to make rental housing providers whole at the end of a tenancy without compromising the housing history of a tenant.
The Landlord Mitigation Fund now becomes accessible to most rental property owners in Washington State. Rental property owners who voluntarily set aside units through the Multifamily Tax Exemption program and to rental property owners who’ve created affordable housing opportunities through the use of tax credits and other government subsidized affordable housing development programs will be eligible to access the fund for reimbursement of damages.
These small investments, provide security for rental housing providers and relieve stress on tenants who utilize vouchers to maintain safe and affordable housing. WMFHA will continue to advocate to remove barriers to housing development in order for housing developers to meet the State’s increasing demand for rental housing.
WMFHA is the Washington State affiliate of the National Apartment Association. With over 110 property management companies, and 200,000 units represented statewide, WMFHA promotes and enriches the multifamily housing industry in Washington State. For more information about the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association, visitwww.wmfha.org.