The 2020 legislative session is just around the corner and Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity is excited to continue our work to assist more Washington families achieve the dream and realize the benefits of affordable homeownership.
In 2019, we worked with Senator Mona Das (47-Kent), Representative Mari Leavitt (28-University Place), and a bipartisan coalition of legislators to pass SB 5025. This legislation will lower the cost to build and sell every Habitat home by thousands of dollars. These saving will allow Habitat for Humanity, and other self-help homeownership organizations, to build and repair more homes for low and moderate income households across the state.
This session we’ll be back in Olympia with a robust agenda to build on our recent successes. Our priority items include amendments to state laws, which allow voter approved tax levies to fund affordable housing, to allow moneys collected via a voter approved tax levy to serve households earning up to 80% of the local area median income (AMI) in affordable homeownership, owner occupied home repair, and foreclosure assistance programs. We’ll also continue our support for efforts to better fund infrastructure programs for housing development and this support includes our continued work on HB 1680, which would renew funding in the state’s Public Works Assistance Account and commit that renewed funding to housing infrastructure projects for the new biennium. Finally, we’ll also work in collaboration on an idea to incentivize the sellers of land to affordable housing developers by reimbursing the sellers the real estate excise tax charged on the sale of that land.
Though our support agenda isn’t as focused as our priority agenda, we do find it important to continue our support of affordable housing development in our community. Continuing this support of our community, we are supporting Forterra’s capital budget request to support the redevelopment on the site of the former Rite Aid in Tacoma’s Hilltop Neighborhood. This keystone site is critical both to the continued economic revitalization of the neighborhood and addition considerable, and needed, affordable housing to the neighborhood.
You can check out our entire 2020 legislative agenda here.
If you have questions about the agenda or how you can add your support, please email our Director of Operations & Government Affairs, Jason Gauthier.