Tacoma Coalition Calls for ‘Tenants’ Bill of Rights’

The group wants to put more power in the hands of tenants, but the city has its own, competing proposal for addressing the housing crisis.

2 minute read

May 26, 2023, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Nighttime view of Tacoma, Washington skyline

SeanPavonePhoto / Tacoma, Washington

A proposal for sweeping housing reforms developed by a community coalition called Tacoma For All is being viewed as a “major threat” by the city, which has its own plan for addressing the housing crisis. Kevin Le reports on the story for The Urbanist.

Tacoma For All’s proposal, Initiative 2023-01, calls for a ‘tenants’ bill of rights’ that includes stricter enforcement of tenant protection laws, a ban on excessive fees, a prohibition on school-year and cold-weather evictions, and relocation assistance in the case of displacement due to rent increases. “Overall, the proposal seeks to shift the power dynamic more into tenants’ favor after many decades of being tilted the other way,” Le explains. 

Meanwhile, Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards “asked Tacoma For All how much they would be willing to compromise on their demands and would not elaborate on the specifics of the City’s alternative plan (which was only vaguely sketched at the time) and so campaign leadership did not provide a response, [Tacoma For All Campaign Director Ty Moore] said.” The city’s plan does not include relocation assistance and proposes a tiered notice system based on the amount of a rent increase.

The organization has gathered more than half of the 8,000 signatures needed by June 15th to put the initiative on the city ballot. “On June 11th, Tacoma for All will host a Tenants Rights Action Conference to democratically decide whether to accept compromises from the City or submit the signatures and go head to head with the City’s alternative.”

Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in The Urbanist

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