Heidi Groover of the Seattle Times joins to talk Washington State's new right to council for low-income people facing eviction.

If you’re about to be evicted in Washington state, what rights do you have? Luke talks to Heidi Groover, who is the real estate reporter for the Seattle Times, about a story she wrote last October about tenant protections in Washington state. These protections give low-income people facing eviction the right to an attorney.

This is a first of its kind state law anywhere in the United States and Heidi walks us through how these protections are supposed to work.

We also talked about how journalism is struggling to keep journalists who reflect the economic and demographic diversity of our communities at a time when the barriers to entry are as high as they've always been and growing economic pressures make it harder than ever to stay.

High-level points we want to highlight:

  • A landlord can’t file an eviction until they have offered a tenant a chance at mediation through an Eviction Resolution Program with a “reasonable repayment plan.” This program can help connect the tenant with rental assistance programs too.
  • If the case makes it to court, the tenant has the right to an attorney even if they can’t afford one.
  • Most importantly, if you are a renter and need If you need help staying in your home, contact the Tenants Union of Washington.

Further reading:

  • "No ‘wave’ of evictions in Spokane County, but worry persists" from Adam Shanks at The Spokesman-Review."
  • In ‘historic’ move, free attorneys provided for tenants facing eviction in some Washington counties" from Heidi Groover at The Seattle Times.

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