Gov. Inslee extends eviction moratorium through 2020, announces new assistance programs

Jay Inslee
Copyright 4 News Now

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee announced Thursday that he is extending the eviction moratorium through the end of 2020.

The moratorium, which has already been extended several times during the pandemic, prevents residents struggling to pay rent from being evicted. This is part of an effort to help residents better handle the statewide economic shutdown.

This eviction ban was set to expire this week before Inslee extended it.

“We certainly don’t need more housing insecurity in the moment of uncertainty during this pandemic,” said Inslee in a press conference Thursday.

The Governor’s Office says they are still working and fine-tuning reopening guidance, and expect more businesses and economic activity to resume in the following weeks and months.

Additionally, the Governor’s Office and Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown announced new assistance programs for struggling businesses and people. These programs are made possible due to a $15 million grant from the Federal Economic Development Administration.

Since the pandemic started, Inslee said the Department of Commerce has already given out $25 million in assistance.

“It’s been very gratifying to see small business people who are able to use this in creative ways to keep their businesses going,” said Inslee.

Inslee also announced a Resiliency Assistance Program for small business owners of color who are non-English speakers. This would include emergency grants for several industries—including export assistance for small, local growers and funding for struggling nonprofits.

“Each of these efforts help us respond to the unique challenges that are facing specific regions, communities and sectors in our state,” said Inslee. “We certainly need all hands on deck to help our business owners through this time. We want to keep Washingtonian workers employed and we want to strengthen our state’s economy to make it more equitable and resilient.”

The Governor says Washington’s economy was among the strongest in the country before the pandemic, and is confident it can return to that point.