Social and Economic Policy
Housing and Homelessness

In summary, the League believes that it is government’s responsibility to assure that there is equality of opportunity for housing and to help alleviate the housing shortage in the low-income sector.


Issue Team Chair: Cynthia Stewart, cstewart@lwvwa.org
 DOWNLOAD the Housing and Homelessness Issue Paper
Interested in getting involved with this topic? Contact Cynthia Stewart 
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Take Action!

Updates

Legislation


Get Involved

Overview of the 2024 Legislative Session

Over the last few years, the legislature has passed a large number of policy bills to address affordable housing and homelessness. In fact, the 2023 session was called “the year of housing”. But there is more to do. In the upcoming session, work will continue on bills that were introduced in the first half of the biennium, 2023, as well as some critical new proposed legislation that would further justice in housing.


Updates
If there is a major update on a bill, action chairs may want to write up a report detailing changes or summarizing debate in committee.


2024 Housing and Homelessness Legislation

Priority Bills

Bills in green are supported. Bills in red are opposed by the League. Bills in black the League is watching.

HB 1052 Providing a property tax exemption for qualified real and personal property owned or used by a nonprofit entity in providing qualified housing funded in whole or part through a local real estate excise tax.This bill would create a financial incentive to nonprofit organizations that provide affordable housing. It passed the House overwhelmingly in 2023 but did not make it through the Senate. It has been returned to the House Rules Committee for this session.

HB 1892 Concerning the workforce housing accelerator program. This bill would establish a program within the Department of Commerce (DOC) under which loans may be issued to eligible organizations to assist with the development of housing for low-income households.

HB 1998/SB 5901 Concerning co-living housing. New in 2024, this bill would authorize shared housing where residents each have their own bedroom and share living and kitchen space, in any area where multi-family housing is permitted. This type of housing, formerly considered “boarding houses”, has been prohibited in many jurisdictions but could offer lower cost housing for those who need it.

HB 2008 Creating a task force on housing cost driver analysis. New in 2024, this bill would create a task force to ascertain the primary factors driving housing costs in Washington.

HB 2114/SB 5961 Improving housing stability for tenants subject to the residential landlord-tenant act and the manufactured/mobile home landlord-tenant act. New in 2024, this bill would limit rent and fee increases, require notice of rent and fee increases, limit fees and deposits, establish a landlord resource center and associated services, authorize tenant lease termination, create parity between lease types, and provide for attorney general enforcement.

HB 2160/SB 6024 Promoting community and transit-oriented housing development. New in 2024,these bills would make a number of changes to regulatory requirements to facilitate more development of multi-family housing near transit facilities.

HB 2234 Concerning energy assistance for low-income households. This bill would require all electric utilities to provide one or more programs and funding available for energy assistance to low-income households.

HB 2276/SB 6191 Increasing the supply of affordable and workforce housing. New inn 2024, this bill would establish a real estate excise tax that would makes the WA State tax code more progressive and create a permanent fund source for affordable housing.

SB 5975 Authorizing use of the housing trust fund and other legislative appropriations to finance social housing. New in 2024, this bill would establish a program with the housing trust fund for housing on land that is publicly owned  in perpetuity and available to households of any income level, including low-income and moderate-income households.

Other Bills
Bills in green are supported. Bills in red are opposed by the League. Bills in black the League is watching.

To be added.


How To Be Involved

  • If you are interested in a particular bill, use the links above to go to the webpage for that bill. These pages include staff summaries and reports including who testified PRO versus CON on the bill. There is also information about how to access videos of hearings that have been held. 
  • Read and take action through the LWVWA Legislative Action Newsletter, distributed each Sunday during the legislative session.
  • Join the League’s Housing Affinity Group by contacting Cynthia Stewart, Housing and Homelessness Issue Chair.
  • Work with your local jurisdiction to assure that comprehensive planning will address the housing needs of your community. Contact your city or county planning department to obtain a comp plan development schedule and opportunities for engagement.

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