The need for rent stabilization now.

Friends and neighbors, 

This week I want to update you on my bills which are still alive this legislative session, talk about why we need to move on rent stabilization this year, and invite you to my upcoming town hall. 

My bills that are still alive 

As of this update I have seven bills that are still alive and are working their way to a vote on the house floor. These cover topics that include support for low-income families, transitional housing, court interpreters, deception by law enforcement, and even octopus farming. 

  • House Bill 2007 – Removes an arbitrary 6-month lifetime limit for individuals who qualify for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. 
  • House Bill 2230 – Makes the Economic Security for All a permanent program to help low-income families build toward self-sufficiency. 
  • House Bill 2474 – Removes local barriers to compliance with building transitional, permanent supportive, and indoor emergency housing, as well as indoor emergency shelters. 
  • House Bill 1153 – Bans the farming of octopus in Washington. 
  • House Bill 1062 – Authorizes the Criminal Justice Training Commission to develop a class on non-deceptive interrogation techniques. 
  • House Bill 2006 – Strengthens the certification process for court interpreters and guarantees that anyone before a court has access to a certified court interpreter. 
  • House Bill 2323 – Requires that landlords submit documentation of a tenant’s on-time rental payments to credit agencies when requested. 

I will keep you updated as these continue to move through the legislative process. 

Rent stabilization now 

Increasing housing supply alone will be insufficient to address the rent affordability crisis our neighbors are struggling with right now. It will take years for us to start to see benefits from these efforts.  

I was disheartened by the failure of rent stabilization in the Senate but am proud that the House’s version passed the Housing and Appropriations committees. House Bill 2114 caps yearly rent increases at a modest 7% while creating provisions to protect renters like notification requirements for rent increases and lease termination options for tenants.  

We need to pass this legislation now because unpredictable and escalating rent increases create impossible choices that put families at risk. Put simply, homelessness and rental costs go hand-in-hand. For every $100 that rent increases, homelessness rates increase by 9%. This means that when rent goes up, families, retirees and people of color are all at disproportionate risk of homelessness. 

All renters deserve the predictability and stability that homeowners with a mortgage experience. Washington residents with low or fixed incomes, those pursuing a degree or in career training, or those facing other life challenges won’t be able to budget their way out of homelessness. When the rental market is escalating at this pace, rent stabilization is a lifeline for Washington tenants. 

Town hall meeting on February 17th 

I would also like you join my seatmates and me for a Town Hall Meeting on February 17th. We will be discussing legislation being considered in Olympia and will take questions from you. We look forward to seeing you there! 

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns and can’t make the town hall meeting, please reach out to my office and we will follow up. 

Thanks again, 

Rep. Strom Peterson