During a press conference on Wednesday, Nov. 2, Governor Jay Inslee said affordable housing will continue to be a top priority again during the 2023 legislative session.
The state’s population has grown by 25 percent since 2005, while the housing supply has only grown by 22 percent. With a deficit of about 76,000 units as of 2020 and a median home price that has increased 13.7 percent in just one year from 2019 to 2020, there is a housing affordability crisis throughout the state.
During his press conference, Inslee outlined three policies for the 2023 legislative session he will be focused on:
- Increasing density near transit corridors by creating a public-private partnership transit-oriented development program and establishing requirements around the number of units that are priced affordably.
- Speeding up development by creating a new permitting pilot program and digital permitting platforms.
- Helping lower-income first-time home buyers by expanding a tax incentive for people who sell their homes to first-time home buyers in the state’s home buyer program.
“Availability and affordability are two sides of the same coin,” Inslee said. “Affordable housing is necessary for preventing people from sliding into homelessness, for helping people transition out of shelters and into permanent housing, and for strengthening the ability of working people to establish economic stability and security.”
Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County CEO Brett D’Antonio was asked to speak briefly about where the non-profit fell within the housing continuum. While Habitat SKC serves a client that is gainfully employed and housed, prior to finding Habitat, many were often paying more than 50% of their income on rent, living in unsafe living conditions and at great risk of becoming homeless.
To learn about Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King & Kittitas Counties’ legislative agenda for the 2023 session, click here – and make sure to send your lawmakers a note telling them that you stand with Habitat by clicking here!