Catching up with Rentberry

It’s been several months since we’ve heard anything about the ongoing spat between the City of Seattle and Rentberry, which offers an online platform to facilitate rent-bidding. But since April, the city has extended its moratorium on rent-bidding platforms and finished its study of the impacts of rent-bidding, and Rentberry has appealed its first-round loss of its legal challenge to the moratorium. Let’s catch up on where things stand.

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Sawant’s Rent Control Bill

As promised, Council member Kshama Sawant unveiled her proposed rent control ordinance on Monday night. Capitol Hill Seattle Blog scanned in a printed copy that was distributed at Sawant’s hearing/rally. (update: here’s a clean version of the bill, provided by Sawant’s office) Here’s what’s in the bill.

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RV Ranching, the Sequel

Earlier this week, the City Council had another committee hearing on the Mayor’s proposed ordinance to curb “RV Ranching,” predatory renting of RV’s and other vehicles in poor condition to homeless people. The second conversation went better than the first one last week, and the issues are becoming clearer.

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Trio of eviction-reform bills working their way through Council

Three tenant-rights bills, all sponsored by Council member Lisa Herbold, got a hearing in committee this past Tuesday; one passed out of the committee and the other two are still in the works. All three bills address issues raised in the “Losing Home” report published last year by the King County Bar Association and the Seattle Women’s Commission. That report looked at several problems in the eviction process, and made recommendations on how to make it fairer, more equitable, and less likely to drive people into homelessness.

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City announces sale of “Mercer Megablock”

This morning, Mayor Durkan announced that the city has agreed to terms with Alexandria Real Estate Equities to purchase the Mercer Megablock property in South Lake Union, along with the adjacent city-owned property at 615 Dexter Avenue N. The deal will net the city $143 million in cash, plus a package of additional public benefits that together the city estimates will total somewhere between $275 – $305 million.

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“Mercer Megablock” announcement coming in next two weeks (updated)

Remember the “Mercer Megablock” — the 96,000 square foot chunk of city-owned property in South Lake Union that the city is trying to sell, and became controversial last October when community and housing advocates pushed for the city to use the entire property for affordable housing? This morning, Mayor Durkan let it be known that an announcement related to the sale of the property is coming next week, and gave some high-level details on what she will propose to do with the proceeds from the sale. UPDATE: A spokesperson from the Mayor now says that the details on the sale …

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