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King County leaders take action to protect renters, build affordable housing

King County leaders approved one of four ordinances Tuesday aimed at protecting renters and creating affordable housing.

KING COUNTY, Wash. — King County leaders approved one of four ordinances Tuesday aimed at protecting renters and creating affordable housing. 

The Health, Housing and Human Services Committee met Tuesday and reviewed the housing ordinances. 

The Committee approved Motion 2019-0377, which is geared toward creating a strategy King County can take to develop and retain existing affordable housing in Skyway-West Hill and North Highline. 

The county would conduct a year-long survey to identify actions that can be taken to make this happen.

The approved motion will go before the full council at its Oct. 24 meeting, and the other three ordinances will undergo further discussion in the Health, Housing, and Human Services Committee. 

One of those ordinances would form a new renters' commission in King County.

The appointed 15 members would bring issues that are important to renters, to county leaders.

A second ordinance would protect tenants from being evicted unless the cause is defined as "just." Depending on the jurisdiction, a "just" reason may be refusing to pay rent, violating a rental agreement or certain criminal activities.

The third ordinance would assist renters who are evicted because they cannot afford rentThis ordinance would create housing programs in Skyway and White Center.

An annual of the program would be given to the King County Council.

More than 42 percent of King County households are renters, according to the county.

Earlier this month, the Seattle City Council passed several laws aimed at strengthening and improving renter protections. Seattle's renter protection laws focused on those who were victims of domestic violence, roommate situations and discrimination. 

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