The Washington State Legislature is attempting to pass a number of bills this year that should increase the housing available and affordability. The initiative is endorsed by the Washington Realtors Association, many not-for-profit organizations and cities throughout the State. The initiative is called Unlock the Door for Affordable Homeownership. Dan Bertolet of the Sightline Institute writes “Tackling a housing affordability crisis calls for three main fixes: more homes; more funding for affordable homes; and more tenant protections. Alone, each strategy is insufficient; together, they form a balanced approach. In growing cities without enough homes for all people who need them, building more homes of all shapes and sizes holds down average rents and prices, and that helps everyone. Increased funding for subsidies delivers more homes to those who still can’t afford what the market can provide. And, tenant protections safeguard those with the least housing security-renters-insulating them from rapid change.”
Both the Washington State House of Representative and the State Senate have numerous Bills they are working on from everything from; changing the current condominium laws to make it less onerous to develop; reducing the barriers for accessory dwellings, ease restrictions on tiny homes, increase density near light rail stations, redirect sales tax revenue for affordable housing, changing landlord / tenant regulations, converting to a progressive Real Estate Excise Tax on a purchase and sale, and other legislation. The Legislature is fully engaged in increasing the housing affordability in the State of Washington.
Unfortunately, not all of this legislation will be passed. My hope is that enough legislation passes to stabilize housing prices in the Seattle Area.