Seattle City Council passes resolution urging Legislature to allow cities to limit rent increases

SEATTLE -- By an 8-1 vote, the Seattle City Council on Monday adopted a resolution in support of rent control and asked the Legislature to lift the ban on cities limiting rent increases.

The lone dissent was Council member John Okamoto.

"The pressure from citizens being pushed out not only their apartments, but often out of Seattle in search of affordable housing, filled the council chambers to capacity on more than one occasion. They changed the attitude of council members," Council member Nick Licata wrote on the Seattle City Council website.

The new resolution asks the Legislature to modify or repeal state law RCW 35.21.830 so that cities would be allowed to pass legislation to protect tenants from sudden and dramatic rent increases.

Rent control is currently outlawed by Washington state.

“I welcome passage of this rent control resolution as a huge victory for our grassroots movement for housing affordability," Council member Kshama Sawant said in a news release. "Thirty five years after the state Legislature sold out to big landlords by banning all rent regulation, the City Council has been forced to take a historic action, officially urging the repealing of the ban."