The City of Seattle will extend its rent relief efforts for city tenants through the end of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn. The rent relief measures provide rent deferral for for-profit tenants and rent waivers for nonprofit tenants, according to a city press release.

In addition to Mayor Jenny Durkan’s eviction moratorium extension through the end of 2020, the City of Seattle has been offering rent deferment or waivers for city tenants since April 2020.

“Since the pandemic touched down in Seattle, we’ve taken urgent measures to help our residents and small businesses weather this storm,” Durkan said in a press release. “We’ve provided direct cash assistance to renters and small businesses and we’ve implemented and extended one of the first in the country eviction moratoriums. In the midst of an unprecedented financial shortfall for the city, we know we must continue to provide urgent relief for our own tenants, and that’s exactly what we’re doing with this extension. Ultimately, cities cannot bear the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis alone, and we deeply need federal leadership to pull us out of this public health and economic crisis.”

This most recent rent relief extension involves rent for August through December of 2020. Of the city’s for-profit tenants, 63 will have their rent deferred for the remainder of the year, and 103 nonprofit tenants — including artist studios — will have their rent waived for the remainder of the year. The decision impacts the department of Finance and Administrative Services, Seattle Parks and Recreation and Seattle Center, all of which lease city facilities. Many tenants have contacted FAS, Seattle Center and SPR requesting additional rent abatement and assistance after suffering a sustained decline in business related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting closures and limits on public gatherings.

The city is also allocating more than $19 million?in COVID-19 relief funding?to provide?housing assistance for low-income households. The city will provide $12 million in rental assistance through United Way of King County’s Home Base Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Program, $4 million in 2020 and $8 million in 2021. Additionally in 2020, the City is expected to distribute $4 million through affordable housing providers funded by the Seattle Office of Housing, and nearly $3 million through the Human Services Department’s Homelessness Prevention programs. Those investments are in addition to the $41 million King County Eviction Prevention and Rent Assistance Program and the Mayor’s eviction moratoriums for residents, small businesses and nonprofits.