2023 Legislative Agenda

The lack of affordable housing and affordable homeownership opportunities continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing Washington today. We’re working to make sure that housing choices are a priority in the 2023 legislature.

Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties strongly believes in a world where EVERYBODY has access to a safe, affordable and decent place to live — and with our agendas, we’re working tirelessly to make that a reality.

End Exclusionary Zoning

Washington State has a long and sordid history with exclusionary zoning. The use of race-based restrictions and redlining maps keeps Black, Indigenous, and people of color out of neighborhoods that were predominantly White, limits the affordability of housing and restricts the amount of homes available to these marginalized groups. Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties calls on the legislature to look to the examples of Oregon and Walla Walla and end the practice of exclusionary zoning in Washington State.

Increase Black Homeownership

The lowest homeownership rate of any racial or ethnic group in the United States is that of Black people – currently, the average Black family in Seattle is 33% less likely to own their own home than a white family. The policies in place at the local, state, and federal governments have prohibited households of color from having equal access to homeownership, mortgage financing, neighborhood development, and many other possibilities, all of which are made easily available to White households. Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties urges the state legislature to eliminate the systematic bias that pervades American home financing, home buying, and exclusionary zoning regulations, which has kept generations of Black families from becoming homeowners.

Support Permanently Affordable Homeownership

While we drastically need more investment in affordable housing across the board, we also need to make deliberate investments in permanently affordable homeownership here in Washington State. The reality is the disparity between Washington State’s support for rental, shelter, and supportive services housing and Washington’s support for homeownership is roughly 20 to 1 in favor of rentals, shelter, and supportive services. That is a massive racial and economic equity issue, because it ensures developers build only rentals in communities of color, denying families opportunities to become homeowners and build equity. We at Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties strongly support the creation of new avenues of support for permanently affordable homeownership, because we need long term solutions to address this crisis.