Articles about Rent Control

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City of Tacoma Affordable Housing Action Strategy

Affordable Housing Action Strategy

The City of Tacoma considers affordable housing to be a high priority and has developed an Affordable Housing Action Strategy to address this important issue. As part of this process, a Housing Market Policy Dashboard (with associated technical documentation) has also been created to reflect the potential impacts of market-based incentives for income-restricted affordable housing production. 

Background Information 

A strategic overview presented to the City Council on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 had initially outlined the City of Tacoma's intended approach moving forward

The current strategy was then developed during an intensive four-month process that included a series of community listening sessions, focus groups and other avenues for public feedback organized by the City and its community partners. 

Looking for answers to frequently asked questions as well as a high-level summary of what was shared during the community listening sessions, focus groups and other public events? Download this handout.  

Prior to the completion of the current strategy, the City Council had received its final update on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. That update included a review of Tacoma's key challenges as it relates to affordable housing, as well as recommended strategic approaches that the City could consider taking.

Key challenges identified: 

Recommended strategic approaches to addressing these key challenges:

Past efforts relating to affordable housing include the work of the Affordable Housing Policy Advisory Group (AHPAG) formed in 2010. AHPAG developed 25 policy recommendations in seven categories. Many of the policies originating from AHPAG’s policy recommendations have been implemented over phases, culminating with the 2015 adoption of Ordinance No. 28336 which established incentives for affordable housing, among other public benefits, and created more regulatory flexibility for infill development. 

The work of the AHPAG has informed the work the City of Tacoma has done to develop its current strategy. The City also factored in details from the Tacoma 2025 strategic visioning framework, the One Tacoma Comprehensive Plan, and other reports into its current strategy which will align with other initiatives.

Contact Information

Daniel Murillo
(253) 591-5238


Matthew Desmond and his book 'Evicted', explain the affects on a person's life when they have been evicted. However, what isn't be explored is how people can be helped with everyday expenses that allow them to be successful in life so that they can pay rent. Every landlord will tell you that before they start an eviction they have provided an alternative, payment plan or resources to agency who may be able to assist them with paying rent. Eviction are simply a last resort for landlords! A tenant who is unable to pay rent needs the support of their community. Landlords are one member of that community. How are other community members helping to provide or keep tenants in their housing?

From the website

The National Building Museum announces a new, ground-breaking exhibition exploring the causes and impacts of eviction.

Eviction occurs when renters are forcibly removed from their home by court order. Evictions and the threat of removal are disproportionately experienced by African American single mothers in many cities, but affect people of all backgrounds. An eviction record can mean that a family is now ineligible for other subsidies such as public housing. It can make job-hunting more difficult, if not nearly impossible. Finding a new place to live becomes almost a full-time job, especially in a sprawling metropolitan area without a car.

Housing instability threatens all aspects of family life: health, jobs, school, and personal relationships. Landlords hesitate to rent to those with eviction records, or charge them extra money, causing a devastating negative feedback loop. Children switch schools too often to make friends or be noticed and helped by teachers; neighbors cannot develop bonds; personal belongings are left in storage or out on the street. Americans often take home for granted—homes forms the building blocks of community life—and this stability is under attack when eviction looms.

Helpful information about the new Tacoma Rental Code

Here is some helpful information about the new Tacoma Rental Code. Use the link below for additional details, including violations:

  1. Verify if your rental property is within the Tacoma city limits.
  2. Website to provide in the tenants in the criteria.
  3. Link to download Tenant Information Packet
  4. Notice of Resources


The initial distribution of information to tenants must be
in written form and landlords shall obtain the tenant’s signature documenting
tenant’s receipt of such information. If a tenant refuses to provide a
signature documenting the tenant’s receipt of the information, the landlord may
draft a declaration stating when and where the landlord provided tenant with
the required information. After the initial distribution of the summaries to
tenants, a landlord shall provide existing tenants with updated summaries by
the City, and may do so in electronic form unless a tenant otherwise requests
written summaries.


A landlord is required to provide a copy of a resource
summary, prepared by the City, to any tenant when the landlord provides a
notice to a tenant under RCW 59.12.030.


For a violation of Distribution of information required (TMC
1.95.030), Deposit requirements and installment payments (TMC 1.95.040), Notice
requirement generally (TMC 1.95.050), or -14- Ord18-1330amend.doc-DEC/bn 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Notice to
increase rent requirements (TMC 1.95.060), a landlord shall be subject to the
following penalties:

(1) For the first violation for each affected dwelling unit,
$500; and

(2) For each affected dwelling unit for each subsequent
violation within a three-year period, $1,000.

b. For a violation of a Notice to vacate (TMC 1.95.070),
Tenant Relocation Assistance (TMC 1.95.080), and Retaliation prohibited (TMC
1.95.090.A.2), a landlord shall be subject to the following penalties:

(1) For each violation from the date the violation begins
for the first ten days of noncompliance, $250 per day, per dwelling unit;

(2) For each violation for each day beyond ten days of
noncompliance until compliance is achieved, $500 per day, per dwelling unit.

City of Tacoma address finder

To verify if your rental property is in the city limits of Tacoma, use this link. Only rental property in the city limits of Tacoma are subject to the new Tacoma Rental Housing Code.

City of Tacoma Rental Housing Code information packets are available for download.

City of Tacoma Tenant Relocation Assistance: Public Hearing October 2, 2018

Public Hearing Scheduled About a Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance on October 2

The City of Tacoma will hold a public hearing on a tenant relocation assistance Ordinance at approximately 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 2, 2018 in the Tacoma City Council Chambers (747 Market St. First Floor).

The proposed amendments, if passed, would impose a tenant relocation assistance requirement for low-income tenants in the event the landlord demolishes, substantially rehabilitates or changes the use of a residential property, or when the use restrictions in an assisted-housing development are removed. State law (RCW 59.18.440) authorizes the tenant relocation assistance requirement and the City is proposing to impose this new tenant relocation assistance requirement in the amount of $2,000 per qualified dwelling unit.

Before the City can impose the tenant relocation assistance requirement, state law requires a public hearing for public testimony on what relocation expenses displaced tenants would reasonably incur including:

• Actual physical moving costs and expenses;
• Advance payments required for moving into a new residence, such as the cost of first and last month's rent and security and damage deposits;
• Utility connection fees and deposits; and
• Anticipated additional rent and utility costs in the residence for one year after relocation.

Public comment can also be submitted in writing to the City Clerk’s Office by emailing or in person at the City Clerk’s Office at 733 Market Street, Room 11, Tacoma, WA 98402 by 4 p.m. Tuesday, October 2, 2018.

For additional information about the proposed amendment, please contact M’Balu Bangura, Risk Analyst, Office of Equity and Human Rights, at 253-591-5162.

HB 1570: Passed into law - effective June 7, 2018

Concerning access to homeless housing and assistance.

Governor signed HB 1570 on March  15, 2018 to be effective on June 7, 2018.

An additional surcharge of $62.00 shall be charged by the county auditor for each document recorded, which will be in addition to any other charge allowed by law.

The legislature recognizes that all of the  people of the state should have the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, and affordable home. The legislature further recognizes that homelessness in Washington is unacceptable and that action needs to be taken to protect vulnerable households including families with children, youth and young adults, veterans, seniors, and people at high risk of homelessness, including survivors of domestic violence and people living with mental illness and other disabilities. The legislature recognizes that homelessness has immediate and often times long-term consequences on the educational achievement of public school children and disproportionately impacts students of color. Additionally, the legislature recognizes that the health and safety of people experiencing homelessness is immediately and oftentimes significantly compromised, and that homelessness exacerbates physical and behavioral health disabilities.

The legislature further recognizes that homelessness is disproportionately experienced by people of color and LGBTQ youth and young adults. The legislature recognizes that homelessness is also disproportionately experienced by people living with mental illness and that homelessness is an impediment to treatment. The legislature further recognizes that homelessness is disproportionately experienced by Native Americans. In 2005, the Washington state legislature passed the homeless housing and assistance act that outlined several bold policies to address homelessness. That act also required a strategic plan by the department of commerce, which was first submitted in 2006 and subsequently updated. Since the first statewide plan, the state has succeeded in housing over five hundred fifty-six thousand people experiencing homelessness. These people were previously living in places not meant for human habitation, living in emergency shelters, or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Although the overall prevalence of homelessness is down more than seventeen percent, the recent increase in homelessness, due in large part to surging housing costs, remains a crisis and more must be done. Therefore, the legislature intends to improve resources available to aid with increasing access and removing barriers to housing for individuals and families in Washington.