EKCC 2022 Housing Affordability


We thank the Legislature for expanding the Multi-Family Tax Exemption during the pandemic. However, more must be done. We offer the following proposals to reach Washington’s Adopted Housing Goal:

Create Incentives and Penalties Related to Achieving Growth Management Act Housing Goals

• Adopt financial and legal incentives, both positive and negative, to reward success for local governments to achieve its growth targets every year.
Create Incentives to Encourage Transit Oriented Development (TOD)
• Incentivize all jurisdictions that have or plan to have light rail or major transit centers to include TOD action plans in their comprehensive plans.
• Require TOD corridors to be planned and zoned at densities that will accommodate the PRSC 2050 growth plan,
• To improve efficient land use and the financial viability of projects in cities with light rail or major transit centers, incentivize new construction and maximize height as feasibility allows.
Increase housing supply and affordability for renters and homeowners:
• Incentivize the development or conversion of apartments to condominiums in order to create equity and the opportunity for the American Dream to become a reality for our working families
• For projects that build an additional 10% affordable units, allow for an extra floor beyond standard zoning.
• Incentivize more affordable housing by reducing overall housing costs, including area wide SEPA, area wide transportation concurrency, and a 120-day total turnaround time from entitlement application to building permit issuance.
• Incentivize Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADU’s), both in and outside of high-density areas to enable seniors to age in place, pay property taxes, and retain home ownership, as well as allow multi- generational households a wider variety of housing options, through permitting reform and elimination of restrictive requirements.
• Incentivize cities to meet growth targets and use innovative design techniques for “missing middle” housing that respects the unique character of low-density neighborhood zones .
• Building on the work on condo liability reform in SB 5334, we ask the Legislature and the Insurance Commissioner to study ways to bring insurers back to the state.
• Support innovation and encourage new design and construction technologies, such as cross-laminated timber, modular housing, and 3D printing construction.
• Re-introduce HB 1157 to increase housing supply through the GMA, including requiring jurisdictions to consider housing locations relative to employment locations in their comprehensive plan.
• Continue implementing recommendations of 2019 session law HB 1923, especially concerning increased residential building capacity and housing affordability.
• Amend RCW 36.70B - The Local Project Review Act (which includes WA’s Development Agreement Statute) - to give local governments authority to modify zoning standards through a development agreement in exchange for development of affordable housing.