Washington’s Proposed Housing Bills, Explained

The 2023 Washington state legislature will evaluate a slew of proposals aimed at increasing housing supply and affordability.

2 minute read

January 15, 2023, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

In an article for Crosscut, Josh Cohen lists some of the proposed housing bills to be introduced in the next session of the Washington state legislature. “Recognizing that there’s no silver bullet for Washington’s housing crisis, legislators and advocates are pushing a slew of bills meant to increase market-rate construction, subsidized affordable housing and renter protections.”

Among the proposed bills is House Bill 1110, which “would allow construction of up to four units on any residential lot in cities with 6,000 or more residents. If developers make two units affordable for people earning 80% or less of the area median income, they could build up to six units on any residential lot.” Developments within half a mile of transit stations would be exempt from the affordability requirement. “Another bill would eliminate design review boards for residential construction,” streamlining the construction process and bringing down costs. Yet another would eliminate parking requirements near transit.

To address the needs of the sizable segment of Washington’s population that can’t afford market-rate housing, “Gov. Inslee wants to issue bonds to generate $4 billion for affordable-housing construction and homeless services over the next six years.” The plan must be approved by the legislature and then voters.

To protect renters from exorbitant price increases despite the state’s ban on rent control, “housing advocates expect the Legislature to take up a new ‘anti-gouging bill’ this session that would cap how much landlords can raise rents each year” in a similar way.

Thursday, January 12, 2023 in Crosscut

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