Federal Way mayor implements emergency relief measures to combat economic impacts of COVID-19

Mayor places freeze on landlord late fees charged to renters; City also to donate $15,000 to Multi-Service Center food bank.

In an effort to add another layer of support for those in the community struggling with the economic impacts caused by the spread of COVID-19 in the region, Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell issued a Proclamation of Emergency on Friday aimed at freezing late fees put on renters by landlords.

Mayor Ferrell’s emergency rule will be in effect for the duration of the moratorium on residential evictions ordered in Governor Jay Inslee’s Proclamation 20-19, issued on March 18.

“The economic hardship residents will experience as a result of lost wages may cause an inability to pay for rent, and when late fees accrue, they can lead to unmanageable debt for renters,” Mayor Ferrell said. “We want to help keep people in their homes and help them avoid the threat of homelessness during these difficult times.”

Mayor Ferrell also announced the authorization of $15,000 in funding to the Multi-Service Center (MSC) for its food bank to support those affected by the economic effects of the COVID. He also approved the use of City of Federal Way Parks personnel to deliver food to the food bank as well as play a role in the distribution of food to those in the community.

MSC has seen a 25% increase this month in families visiting the food bank, CEO Robin Corak said.

“We expect that number to rise even more in the coming weeks,” Corak said. “This funding from the City is a huge help to us as we work to support all the new families utilizing the food bank.”

The funding to MSC is part of a comprehensive effort to support those most in need in the community during this time. Mayor Ferrell previously authorized $12,000 to Catholic Community Services (CCS) so the Day Center could extend its hours, and $13,500 to Reach Out so CCS could continue providing shelter in Federal Way through April.

In the coming weeks, Mayor Ferrell will be asking the Federal Way City Council to review long-term and comprehensive options for meeting the needs of food safety and other needs of residents affected by the economic impact of COVID-19.

“These are urgent needs that must be addressed immediately,” Mayor Ferrell said. “We also need to be proactive to make plans for the medium and long term.”

The Emergency Proclamation will need the City Council’s ratification at the April 7 Council meeting.

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