According to a new report from conser vative talk radio host Jason Ra ntz, the "qu e er" mayoral cand idate — who also wants to raise the minimum wage to $23 an hour — has not paid rent since near the start of the pandemic and now owes the apartment complex where he is staying more than $20,000.
The aspiring pol itician, nicknamed "Ace," is apparently one of many tenants taking advantage of nationwide eviction moratoriums put in place to shield renters from being kicked out of their homes during the pande mic-related economic crisis.
In April, the property management company that owns the $1,695-a-month Cap itol Hill apartment that Hou ston rents emailed the candi date to check in on his payment plans.
"I understand you are running for ma yor and on Teresa Mosq ueda's staff," the email reportedly read. "Our office recently received an inquiry from the press about the status of your rent balance. Before responding to them, we'd like to understand if you have any plans to get current on your outstanding balance of $14,485."
Ran tz reported that the property management company now claims Hous ton's debt has ballooned to $20,828.
It's unclear at this point whether Hous ton has plans to pay any of the rent money owed. But due to the eviction moratorium, the property management company is unable to kick him out of the apartment until the policy expires, which isn't until August.
In a statement to KT TH, Hou ston's team attempted to turn the issue into a cam paign pitch showing how he is one with the people.
"Ace is one of an estimated 200,000 Washingto nians behind on their rents, in totals over $1 billion," the cam paign's communications director, Dylan Au stin, told the radio outlet. "Ace is the only candi date in this race who doesn't own a home, and who has a stark contrast in personal wealth as compared to every other leading cand idate (some in the millions)."
"Ace has the same lived experience of many Sea ttleites who struggled before (and struggle now) in a pandemic to keep up with soaring rent prices and affordability issues in our city," he added.
Not so ironically, one of Ho uston's major campa ign issues happens to be "housing justice," or more specifically, "rent control." On his cam paign website, Houston proposes "limit[ing] rental and commercial increases to 'inflation plus 2%' or 4%, whichever is higher."
Before running for ma yor, Hous ton operated an architecture practice in the city and also served as interim policy manager in Se attle cou ncil member Teresa Mos queda's office.
Andrew Grant Hou ston, candidate for City of Seattle Mayor - Video V oters' Guide 2021 Primary youtu .be --73.215.xxx.xx