Renters, homeowners, commercial tenants, employees
The city of Auburn sent out a press release on Monday to remind Auburn residents and business operators that there are programs in place to assist local businesses and residents during the COVID-19 outbreak.
As we enter the second week of the directives of Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home and Stay Healthy” order, Mayor Nancy Backus has signed several emergency proclamations regarding residential evictions, and placing a temporary moratorium on commercial evictions in Auburn. Those items took effect beginning March 20.
The proclamation states:
“No landlord or commercial property owner shall evict a commercial tenant in the city of Auburn during this local emergency period if the tenant provides one week notice to the landlord or commercial property owner before payment is due that the tenant is unable to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Within one week of the tenant’s notice, the tenant must provide the landlord or commercial property owner with documentation supporting the tenant’s inability to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘These circumstances include loss of business income due to a COVID-19 related workplace closure, child care expenditures due to school closures, health care expenses related to being ill with COVID-19 or caring for a member of the tenant’s household who is ill with COVID-19, or reasonable expenditures that stem from government-ordered emergency measures. ‘No landlord or commercial property owner shall require payment of late fees due Delinquent payment of rent during this temporary moratorium. All commercial tenant late fees and charges shall be waived during the temporary moratorium. “
In addition, Mayor Backus has signed a second proclamation directing city staff to identify opportunities to assist Auburn residents, small businesses, tenants, and other people in Auburn affected by COVID-19 through opportunities including reallocation of funding, additional programs, modification of existing city policies and procedures, and amendments to certain city codes on an interim basis.
This will include immediate actions including:
* Authorization for payment plans associated with utility billing customers experiencing hardships related to COVID-19.
* Use of payment plans for other city services and extension of deadlines faced by city customers that are established under city code and not otherwise mandated by state or federal law.
* Waiving charges for commercial properties requesting temporary shut-offs for water utilities, in an effort to avoid monthly base fees for water, sewer, and solid waste when there is to zero consumption.
County, state and federal measures have also been put in place to support those facing unemployment, lost wages or lowered hours.
Full copies of both resolutions and links to other programs can be found at http://auburnwa.gov/COVID19.