2 Introduction and Background

The mark of an eviction has long lasting consequences for individuals. It prevents households from being able to achieve favorable and affordable housing in good neighborhoods12 and leads to prolonged searches for housing13 14 that leave ample time for families to experience short-term and long-term homelessness.15 Studies show that at least 80% to 90% of households were evicted for falling behind on rent16 with about 1/3rd of households allocating at least 80% of their income to rent.17 18 In Seattle, Washington, many households were evicted for owing less than $100 in rent19 with most evictions occurring in diverse, gentrifying, and the lowest rent neighborhoods.20 At the household level, evictions are a function of low, stagnant wages (i.e. unchanging minimum, or just above minimum, wages) and inadequate public assistance not being able to compete with rising rents.21 The most vulnerable are women with children who have larger expenses but smaller incomes22 23 and persons of color.24