Courtesy of the ZoNE

Northeast Spokane includes one of the lowest income census tracts in the city. A new survey on rent increases found 78% of respondents were worried about staying housed. The survey comes as Spokane County sees historically low vacancy rates, and big rent increases.

Courtesy of the University of Washington

Tenants in Washington now have an additional 30-day stay from eviction if they’re seeking help for past-due rent after the governor extended the bridge eviction moratorium.

Despite that extension, many could still be at risk of losing their housing due to lack of participation in the state-funded eviction resolution programs.

Governor Jay Inslee Extends Bridge Eviction Moratorium

Sep 23, 2021

Governor Jay Inslee announced this Thursday he is extending the bridge eviction moratorium until the end of October.

“We did not think it made sense to end the moratorium while we had millions of dollars sitting in our pockets not distributed to these tenants,” Inslee said.

He said he hopes by the end of October, local governments will have had enough time to process applications for rental assistance. 

Under the bridge moratorium, landlords can’t evict tenants if they have applied for rental assistance and and have responded to a request for mediation.

Rebecca White/SPR

Since Dolores DeSantis and her husband were moved to the Spokane area by the Air Force a year ago, they’ve tried to buy a house. They were outbid every time.

After a notice from her landlord last week, many rentals feel out of reach as well.

Her rent is going up by 37%.

Rebecca White/SPR

Spokane City Council will discuss a series of housing, and development incentives during their meeting Monday that could spur new affordable housing projects, and preserve the existing supply of housing in Spokane.

Spokane Mayor Declares Housing Emergency

Jul 27, 2021
City of Spokane

Mayor Nadine Woodward has declared a housing emergency as housing cost and scarcity continue to skyrocket in the city of Spokane.

Rebecca White/SPR

Governor Jay Inslee announced Thursday that he is extending many eviction protections until September, but tenant and housing advocates are concerned that changes to the moratorium are confusing and could lead to a false sense of security.

Rebecca White/SPR

  Spokane County’s apartment vacancy rate has dropped to a historic low, a symptom of an ongoing housing crisis worsened by the pandemic that is impacting renters in most counties across the state.

According to the University of Washington’s Center for Real Estate Research, Spokane County’s vacancy rate for apartments is .5%.  Several other growing Eastern Washington counties, such as Yakima, Benton and Franklin Counties also had vacancy rates below 1%. King County’s vacancy rate was actually higher than usual, with about 7.1% of apartments being vacant in the spring apartment assessment.

Rebecca White/SPR

At the beginning of the pandemic, when the nation faced rampant unemployment, both landlord and tenant advocates predicted a tsunami of housing issues would overwhelm the courts, homeless, and housing services.

Those advocates are hoping that millions in rental assistance and several tenant laws that go into effect this summer in Washington could resolve that anticipated wave of evictions. But many fear that help won’t be ready in time.

Courtesy of Spokane County Assessors Office

Homeowners in Spokane County saw around a 12.6% increase in their assessed value this year, with some neighborhoods in Spokane seeing significantly higher spikes in value due to the tight housing market.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Throughout the pandemic, communities of color have been hit disproportionately hard, with higher death, and hospitalization rates. When the state’s eviction moratorium ends this month, many believe that people of color will be disproportionally impacted as well.  

Terri Anderson, Director of the Spokane Chapter of the Tenant’s Union of Washington State, said Black and Latino families, especially in Spokane, are much more likely to be renters. They were underserved when rental assistance was distributed into the community during the pandemic.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Tenants, landlords, and housing advocates fear that the Spokane area’s supply of affordable housing may not survive the pandemic.

They are pleading for rental assistance and other measures as a way to transition out of the eviction moratorium.

Steve Corker is worried about what’s going to happen when landlords regain their right to evict tenants who have fallen behind during the pandemic.

Wikimedia Commons

Washington’s Senate Ways and Means Committee heard testimony Tuesday on a bill that would put in place more rules dealing with landlords and tenants during the Covid-19 emergency.

Last year, Governor Inslee issued a proclamation that put in place an eviction moratorium to help those facing financial difficulties because of the pandemic.

Today on Inland Journal and the Inland Journal podcast, WSU researchers say people of color and who live in low-income neighborhoods are more likely to die prematurely than those who live in more affluent places.

“Some of it we can attribute to things like housing quality. We know that housing, we don’t think of that as a health intervention, but actually having poor quality housing is one of the biggest risk factors to developing all kinds of long-term chronic disease conditions.”

State of Idaho

Today on the Inland Journal podcast, the debate about Medicaid expansion in Idaho ratchets up another notch. A state representative from Nampa introduces a bill that would impose work restrictions on some Medicaid recipients. We’ll talk with him and with an opponent. And we’ll talk about the housing market, both in Spokane and nationwide, on the eve of a Spokane Home Builders Association conference.

Spokane Tenants Sound Off About Renting, Landlords

Aug 30, 2018
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Many tenants in Spokane feel powerless to speak up against their landlords, especially if they live in substandard housing.

On Wednesday Spokane City Councilwoman Kate Burke gave them a forum to speak out. At the Northeast Community Center, she gathered representatives of social service and legal agencies to answer questions from tenants.

Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest

The city of Spokane has set a goal to end veteran homelessness this year. A new program administered through Goodwill aims to help by giving landlords incentive to rent to veterans.

Spokane consumers were in a buying mood last summer. They made taxable retail sales jump by more than 9 percent over the year before. The Washington Department of Revenue tallied up two-point-one six billion dollars in retail sales in Spokane County in the third quarter last year for a rate of increase which exceeded even King County, the state's most populous.

The City of Spokane recorded about half that total, a jump of more than 7 percent over the same time in 2013.