Mayor Renews Concern About Housing Impacts

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at 7:54 a.m.

The City Council voted tonight on two ordinances that impact rental housing in Spokane. Mayor Nadine Woodward sent the Council a letter last week outlining her concerns and issued the following statement about tonight’s action:

“Housing stability is a complicated challenge that deserves the time needed to work through important details without the pressure of a deadline. This issue has been met with a lot of passion since it was introduced right before the holidays. Deferring action on the ordinance unfortunately wasn’t enough as Council made changes to the ordinance right up until acting on it.

My request of the City Council for a narrowed, simplified approach was about finding the right balance of protections that maintains rental units and encourages new ones while protecting tenants from bad landlords. Adding a registry, licensing, and inspections largely accomplished that goal.

However, adding background checks and encouraging City-backed private legal action by tenants establishes a regulatory environment that limits our ability to maintain and grow a robust housing supply. While I appreciate that some give and take occurred, the risk is still very real that the new regulations imposed on landlords will harm the very tenants it is intended to help.”