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2023 Legislative Recap

in Advocacy

The 2023 Legislative Session was a year of unprecedented investment in housing, with the Washington State Legislature championing the preservation and growth of affordable housing in varying markets.

Notably, the Washington State Capital Budget included a direct allocation of $14 million to Tacoma Habitat to fund a time-bound, limited opportunity to preserve 80 single-family homes under our permanently affordable, restricted resale model. Tacoma Habitat plans to purchase, rehabilitate and sell up 80 homes from the Pierce County Housing Authority’s repositioned rental portfolio to income-qualified buyers between 60-80% of the Area Median Income (maximum of $81,200 for a family of four) across the next few years.

Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins (27th LD) said of the project, “We need more housing of all kinds in Pierce County and across our state, especially for families with middle- and low-income struggling to find affordable housing options. I’m thrilled that Legislature is making this significant investment in the work of Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity, an effective and trusted housing non-profit. I’m excited that Habitat will use these investments from our state capital budget to provide more homes for people in our community and keep them permanently affordable.”

Here’s an update on two of the housing bills Tacoma Habitat was tracking this session:

  • Middle Housing: Passed! We are thrilled that the Middle Housing Bill, which will rezone residential areas in Washington’s urban areas to include multifamily homes such as duplexes and townhomes, passed both the House and the Senate and is on to the Governor’s desk for final signature. This will drastically increase the number of units that can be built in certain areas, providing more housing across the state.
  • Covenant Homeownership Account (CHA):Passed! This is another important bill that we supported during this year’s Legislative Session. CHA will start an account that is funded by the Document Recording Fee to provide Down Payment Assistance to BIPOC families who have been historically affected by redlining.

To learn more about the other housing policies passed this year, please here to watch a panel featuring Speaker Jinkins and other elected leaders who were key in moving key initiatives forward this year. The panel was convened by the Housing Development Consortium, in partnership with Tacoma Habitat and Habitat Seattle-King and Kittitas Counties.

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