An RV in Ballard reported to Seattle's Find It, Fix It app in 2016.
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An RV in Ballard reported to Seattle's Find It, Fix It app in 2016.
Credit: Obtained from Seattle Finance and Administrative Services through an open records request.

Seattle could ban the use of hazardous RVs for housing

Broken down RVs are used as homes for some of Seattle's vulnerable, unhoused population.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan put out a compromise proposal today to ban people from renting out dilapidated RVs to homeless residents, after the City Council took issue with her earlier plan.

The new proposal focuses on the vehicle owners, not the people living in them. Councilmember Sally Bagshaw said it's something she could get behind. She has scheduled a vote on it for next Tuesday.

"The goal here is not to put people in a worse off situation, but [the goal] both from a public health standpoint, a neighborhood standpoint, and from the individuals is that we find them a better place to be," Bagshaw said.

The legislation would fine so-called "predatory landlords" if they allow people to live in extensively damaged vehicles. Those vehicles are defined by meeting at least two criteria for being extensively damaged, such as having broken windows, leaking fuel, an infestation, or excessive garbage.

Under the legislation the city would destroy the vehicles when found and the people living in them would be offered shelter or housing by outreach workers.