The Washington State Senate voted to pass SB 6212 on Wednesday afternoon. This legislation would update the authority for voters to approve a property tax levy to fund affordable housing development. This will be the first update to levy authority since 1995. The update would allow the funds raised via a voter approved property tax levy to fund foreclosure prevention programs, affordable homeownership and owner-occupied home repair projects for low-income households earning more than 50% of the local area median income. Under current law funds raised via this levy are only able to fund affordable housing efforts for households earning no more than 50% of the local area median income.
Bill sponsor Senator Mona Das (47-Kent) noted that these types of policies are important in order to support housing development. “Having spent a large part of my career helping hard working individuals and families access the life changing benefits of homeownership, I’m committed to ensuring equitable access to affordable homeownership opportunities,” said Senator Das. “It’s important that we continue to work with local government and community members to ensure that the necessary resources and policy pieces are in place to build more housing that is affordable and obtainable to everybody in our state.”
SB 6212 now heads to the State House for potential passage. To help ensure passage of this Habitat for Humanity priority legislation you can click here to provide a public comment to your state legislators.
To learn more about Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity’s legislative agenda, visit our Advocate page and/or join our Advocacy update list.
Photo courtesy of Washington State Senate via LinkedIn.