We Build Strength, Stability, Self-Reliance and Shelter
Home is more than just a place to rest your head. A home is a sense of stability. A sense of safety. A sense of accomplishment. It’s a place where people connect with family, friends, and their community. A home is crucially important, now more than ever. That is why Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County proudly advocates on behalf of deserving families through its Cost of Home campaign — supporting more affordable housing across the state. Because, at the end of the day — what we are all about is building a world where everyone has a place to call their own.
Create a Racial Homeownership Gap Workgroup
As Washington State continues to wrestle with systemic discrimination against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), it is vitally important that we work to address the gap in homeownership for BIPOC communities. We are calling on legislators to create a workgroup that examines the racial homeownership gap and provides proposals and budget recommendations to address the problem.
Commit $30 million of the Housing Trust Fund to homeownership opportunities
If we are serious about addressing the affordable housing challenge, Washington State needs to invest in affordable housing in all of its forms. The Washington State Housing Trust Fund should be funded to a new record high, and a specific target of $30 million should go to support homeownership opportunities.
Extend the Multi-Family Tax Exemption
Concerning affordable housing incentives
Bill Number SB 5287
The Multi-Family Tax Exemption is an important tool in the development of new affordable housing. This tool must be extended and expanded to include more areas and new forms of multi-family construction.
Support Home Repair Efforts Statewide
Repair programs offered by a variety of organizations including Habitat help keep people in their homes and extend the life of homes by providing critical home repairs, weatherization, and disabled modifications. We encourage Washington State to continue to support these programs.
Current Support Agenda
Modifying allowed uses of local tax revenue for affordable housing and related services to include the acquisition and construction of affordable housing and facilities
Bill Number: HB 1070
Why We Support it: Local governments need flexibility in the use of affordable housing funds in order to ensure that the realities on the ground are able to be addressed by the funding provided. This bill will allow that needed flexibility for cities and counties while also ensuring that the funds still help provide desperately needed affordable housing for their local communities.
Creating the Washington Equitable Access to Credit Act
Bill Number: HB 1015
Why We Support it: Part of Habitat for Humanity’s Cost of Home campaign is devoted to equitably increasing access to credit. This bill is not the complete solution, but is a step in the right direction in reversing some of the longstanding systemic discrimination that has existed in the credit markets for communities of color. It incentivizes grant makers to prioritize giving to programs that are working to reverse the chronic systemic discrimination in the credit and loan markets. Habitat for Humanity is working to build a world where everyone has a decent place to live. If people are unable to have access to credit, that can’t happen.
Prohibiting the use of credit scores to determine rates for personal lines of insurance
Bill Number: SB 5010
Why We Support it: This bill will address some of the systemic harm that comes from using credit scores to determine insurance rates. In 2007, the Federal Trade Commission determined that “credit scoring discriminates against low-income people of color and that insurance scoring is a proxy for race.” We support equitable access to credit for all people. Using a tool that inherently discriminates is something that we must stand against.
Providing a local government option for the funding of essential affordable housing programs
Bill Number: HB 5012
Why We Support it: Producing new affordable housing takes significant funds. This bill will establish a new source of funds for local communities to use to develop a wide range of affordable housing options.
Providing local governments with options to grant rent relief and preserve affordable housing in their communities
Bill Number: HB 1035
Why We Support it: This bill allows local communities to use a variety of methods to support their local residents to try and stave off the potentially coming eviction crisis. We need to do whatever we can to avoid mass evictions. While one solution will not solve the whole problem, this is one step that should help move us along towards that goal.
Maintaining funding and assistance for homeowners navigating the foreclosure process
Bill Number: HB 1108
Why We Support it: This bill maintains the current level of funding that exists for foreclosure prevention assistance. While Habitat believes that we need more funding for foreclosure prevention, maintaining the existing levels is a small step in the right direction.
Concerning housing benefit districts
Bill Number: HB 1128
Why We Support it: Having a variety of housing types is important. Having a variety of housing types near transportation options is absolutely essential. This bill will allow for the creation of districts near transportation hubs that will focus a wide variety of affordable housing solutions in targeted areas.
Concerning local government fiscal flexibility
Bill Number: HB 1069
Why We Support it: Producing new affordable housing takes significant funds. This bill allows for flexibility in the usage of two different existing taxes to be targeted towards affordable housing. Ultimately, this bill gives local communities funds to use to develop a wide range of affordable housing options.
Addressing landlord-tenant relations by providing certain tenant protections during and after public health emergencies, providing for legal representation in eviction cases, and authorizing landlord access to state rental assistance programs
Bill Number: HB 5160
Why We Support it: Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County supports affordable housing efforts across the housing spectrum. As Alana McCargo from the Urban Institute has said, “If renting is unaffordable, then homeownership is not attainable.” Ultimately, It will be easier for families to move along the whole affordable housing spectrum if they aren’t getting kicked back to the beginning over and over again.