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Councilmembers Zahilay, Kohl-Welles Issue Joint Statement on Resolution to Freeze Rent and Mortgage Payments Amid COVID-19 Economic Shutdown

Summary

Councilmembers Girmay Zahilay (District 2) and Jeanne Kohl-Welles (District 4) introduced legislation that would ask state and federal officials to put a moratorium on rent and mortgage payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Story

Councilmembers Girmay Zahilay (District 2) and Jeanne Kohl-Welles (District 4) issued the following statement after introducing a motion calling on Gov. Jay Inslee to freeze rent payments and urging federal lawmakers and the Trump administration to impose an immediate moratorium on rent and mortgage payments:

“Thousands of King County residents are terrified. Not only of COVID-19, but of losing their livelihood and their homes. An eviction moratorium is a great first start, but it doesn’t address the mounting debt that will be waiting.

“King County, along with the rest of the nation, has already seen record numbers of people being laid off as the economy grinds to a halt. As soon as the eviction moratorium ends, we will see thousands of people with little income and no savings pushed out of their homes and small businesses, further escalating our homelessness crisis.

“The King County Council doesn’t have the authority to halt rent and mortgage payments, but state and federal officials do. This resolution allows us to amplify the voices of our constituents and add the King County Council to a larger national movement — a movement for providing the greatest forms of economic relief in existence: keeping people housed and keeping small businesses alive.”

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