The Washington House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation designed to address aspects of the housing crisis by building more affordable workforce housing at a faster rate. House Bill 1892, sponsored by Rep. Mari Leavitt, D-University Place, would establish a workforce housing accelerator program to be administered by the Washington Housing Finance Commission. The program would create a loan program to speed up affordable housing across the state.
Washington is in a housing crisis. As of 2019, nearly half of Washington renters spent 30 percent or more of their income on housing, and over 20 percent spent half or more of their income on housing. This is partly because the state is short up to 250,000 housing units and will need to build another million units in the next 20 years to meet demand.
“Our state is facing a housing affordability crisis that is creating real hardship for our workers,” said Rep. Leavitt. “The stress of making long commutes to be able to afford housing and the threat of homelessness all eat into worker productivity and happiness.”
“Cost of housing can even affect if a potential hire is willing to take a job,” continued Rep. Leavitt. “This further adds to our workforce challenges across sectors. This bill is good for the economy, good for business, and most importantly, it is good for our neighbors across the state.”
House Bill 1892 now moves to the Senate for consideration.