Kirkland Council holds March 19 public hearing on proposed Section 8 housing voucher ordinance

On March 19, the Kirkland City Council will hold a public hearing to receive testimony on a proposed ordinance that would prohibit a landlord from refusing to rent to a tenant solely based upon the applicant’s use of Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. The public hearing will begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. and persons wanting to address the City Council are encouraged to sign in prior to the hearing. The length of public testimony per individual will be determined by the Mayor at the hearing based upon the number of people wishing to testify. The hearing will be held at Kirkland City Hall, 123 5th Avenue in the Council Chamber. The staff memo and draft ordinance will be posted on the “City Council Agenda” webpage at www.kirklandwa.gov on Friday, March 15 by 5 p.m. The Section 8 Housing Voucher program is funded by the federal government and administered by local housing authorities to assist low income families, the elderly and the disabled to afford housing in the private market. For Kirkland, the King County Housing Authority (KCHA) oversees the program. Section 8 participants pay a percentage of their household income for rent and utilities. Through a voucher system, KCHA pays the difference between the tenant’s portion of rent and the amount requested by the landlord.

The City has hosted two community meetings to receive feedback on the proposed ordinance from residents, landlords, property managers, rental housing industry representatives, and housing advocates. In keeping with its commitment to ensure adequate opportunities for public involvement, the City Council will accept public testimony at the March 19 hearing.

Comments may be submitted prior to the hearing to Dawn Nelson, Planning & Community Development Department at dnelson@kirklandwa.gov. Background information can be found at www.kirklandwa.gov and search “Section 8.” The hearing will be broadcast live on Comcast Channel 21, Frontier Channel 31, and on the City’s website.