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WA’s eviction ban faces uncertain future, leaving renters in limbo

David Kroman


Jul 14, 2020

As the moratorium nears expiration, landlords prepare to sue the state to roll back pandemic housing protections.

For Phoenix Johnson, being poor means sometimes going a few weeks without money in her checking account. But as the coronavirus pandemic settled like a fog over King County and her already-modest income began to run dry, she was determined not to let it happen again. What if she became sick? How would she feed her daughter?

But between her efforts to stock up on food while paying her rent — already subsidized through housing vouchers for military veterans — she had little left over to build some small emergency savings.

So it was a “godsend” for Johnson, a single mother with a 12-year-old daughter, when the state earlier this year banned landlords from evicting their tenants, at least temporarily.

“Knowing that the moratorium was in place was a huge relief,” said Johnson, who still owes her landlord money. “At least that was a buffer.”

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