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Following President Trump’s National Emergency Declaration, Mayor Durkan Announces City Will Move Forward on Federal Assistance and Other Emergency Actions Including a Temporary Moratorium on Residential Evictions

SEATTLE (March 13, 2020) – Following the President’s National Emergency Declaration, Mayor Durkan announced that the City will move forward on requesting assistance and take other actions including issuing an Emergency Order for a temporary moratorium on residential evictions in the City of Seattle during this emergency. Following Mayor Durkan’s meeting with Vice President Mike Pence, Mayor Durkan has repeatedly called on the President to declare a national emergency to bring critical resources to the City, County and State. Shortly, Mayor Durkan will sign an emergency order to create a moratorium on residential evictions.  

“For our small businesses and workers: I know you’re hurting. This has been an unprecedented time for our city, and it’s our most vulnerable communities that are disproportionally impacted. Our City has been working round-the-clock on the things keeping so many of us up at night: our health care workers and first responders, child care, housing stability, nutrition, individuals experiencing homelessness, and small business. We are working to leverage every local, state or federal resource to get relief as quickly as possible.  

“With the President’s national emergency declaration, I will be taking additional actions in the coming days focused on more relief for our workers and individuals hardest hit by this emergency, including a moratorium on residential evictions.  We cannot let individuals lose their homes or go hungry at this critical time. Over the coming days, we will announce more support from the City for individuals and families and be prepared to connect more individuals with other non-profit and philanthropic resources.  

“From the onset of this pandemic, the City and our local public health officials have rapidly deployed resources to slow the spread of the virus hoping that federal support would be available. This emergency declaration will be critical to bring desperately needed resources to our City, State and region. We will work quickly to request these funds working in partnership with Governor Inslee and local leaders. However, I am deeply concerned the President’s declaration doesn’t make direct financial assistance to individuals, which is a lifeline for people in so many disasters. I hope Congress will continue its work towards the proposed economic relief package to help the people and businesses hurting by this emergency and persuade the President to authorize FEMA’s individual disaster assistance.” 

The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Act (the Stafford Act) grants the president broad authorities to respond to major disasters. The national emergency declaration empowers FEMA to access approximately $40 billion set aside by Congress to mitigate such disasters. This declaration will also allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to waive or modify certain health care programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and privacy requirements as necessary to ensure sufficient health care services are available for vulnerable populations.