Letters to the Editor

City of Kirkland does not provide full information on Section 8 ordinance

Email your letter to: letters@kirklandreporter.com - File art
Email your letter to: letters@kirklandreporter.com
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The city press release does not inform our citizens of the following changes that are part of the proposed ordinance that will mandate that landlords must accept housing vouchers. Not providing full information is an injustice to the citizens.

A) The city does not explain that many properties of average rent will be required to participate in the Section 8 housing voucher program. It will no longer be voluntary.

B) King County Housing Authority (KCHA) must inspect your unit before it is rented then at least once every 12 months.

C) The list of items inspected is very long and may include items that are a unit owner’s responsibility and items that may be the responsibility of a Home Owners Association to fix.

D) KCHA will only provide 14 to 30 days to make repairs. There may be fines or civil penalties for failing to make repairs.

E) There is a three-step process if you want to raise the rent: 1) 60 days notice to KCHA; 2) KCHA will determine if new rent is reasonable, and; 3) there is a 30 day delay.

It would seem that KCHA would not want to pay more rent and may be incentivized to say new rent is unreasonable. It also seems that KCHA does not provide for paying landlords for utilities, rules violations, damage caused to units. It is uncertain how someone of extremely low income would pay for these things.

F) KCHA requires a minimum 12 month lease, no month to month rentals.

G) A roommate must fit one of four criteria and KCHA must approve the roommate.

H) If a tenant cannot pay their rent, a landlord must follow KHCA’s procedure of serving notices and providing the tenant with financial options. KCHA cannot cover unpaid utility bills. KCHA will only hold the tenant accountable if you take them to court and receive a judgment.

Why is the city not providing broader public outreach? Why not provide fact-based rather than misleading information? Here’s the KCHA website for facts: www.kcha.org/landlords/questions/

Karen Levenson, Kirkland

 

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