OLYMPIA, Wash. (NEWS 1130) – Warning of a coming economic squall as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact daily life, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee on Wednesday put a temporary hold on residential evictions for failure to pay rent, among other measures he hopes will help Washingtonians.
At a press conference, Inslee says stopping those evictions will provide stability for people out of work or struggling during the pandemic.
No person should be put out of their home because they can’t pay rent during the COVID-19 outbreak.
I am placing a 30-day statewide moratorium on evictions to ensure that doesn’t happen. 2/8
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) March 18, 2020
Inslee is also asking public utilities to hold off on shutting off customers and waive late fees for people who are currently out of work. A number of power providers in the state have already signed on, according to the governor’s tweet.
Unemployment insurance should also be easier to get, as the state will do away with a one-week waiting period for people signing up. And that will apply to any claim made from March 8 forward.
The number of people seeking that assistance has increased substantially, and Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi Levine says they’ll have updated numbers on demand later this week.
Everyone joining the governor, like Seattle's mayor, are joining remotely.
"We have already distributed 75-million dollars for our COVID outbreak response."
— Peter Wagner (@peterjontheair) March 18, 2020
Governor Inslee also announced some specific programs that would direct money to small businesses in the state.
Earlier Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a multi-billion dollar response plan to help deal with the pandemic.