Monday, February 20, 2017

Legislative report: Housing bills

Topics in this legislative update on housing policy:
  • Access to homeless housing and assistance; anti-discrimination against source of income (Section 8, etc); local options to preserve affordable housing; nonprofit, low income home ownership development; fees for residential services investigation costs; number of adult homes permitted in residential areas
We encourage you to comment on these bills! Click on the bill number, then click on "Comment on this bill" to the right. Comments will be sent to your chosen representatives.


At The Arc of King County, we work on housing issues as part of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance as well as the Community Advocacy Coalition for developmental disabilities. This legislative session, our focus is on the following:
  • Secure funds for homeless assistance and housing stability
  • Invest $200 million in the Housing Trust Fund to Build and preserve 5,700 safe, healthy, and affordable homes. 
  • Prohibit landlord discrimination based on source of income, such as SSI income or Section 8 vouchers 
  • Guard against zoning, rules and standards that discriminate against people with disabilities
  • Support efforts that help communities preserve and increase affordable housing options
  • Expand housing for people with disabilities experiencing long term homelessness by ensuring full operating budget authority for our state’s Medicaid transformation to fund services in permanent supportive housing


Bills we are tracking

SHB 1570
Concerning access to homeless housing and assistance
Sponsors: Macri, Robinson, McBride, Kagi, Sawyer, Tharinger, Doglio, Pollet, Ortiz-Self, Chapman, Cody, Jinkins, Bergquist, Hudgins, Peterson, Senn, Stonier, Riccelli, Frame, Gregerson, Dolan, Tarleton, Ormsby, Ryu, Fey, Fitzgibbon, Goodman, Slatter, Pettigrew, Kloba, Orwall, Appleton, Clibborn, Farrell, Stanford

Makes permanent an expiring $40 Local Housing and Assistance fee, which supports homeless assistance

Allows counties and/or cities to charge and retain an additional surcharge, up to $50.

Calls for the Department of Commerce and the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to conduct a homeless study every 10 years to better understand causes and characteristics of homelessness and inform policy making.

Note: If coupled with new Housing Trust Fund investments, the Washington Housing Opportunities Act would ensure housing for more than 6,515 more people each 2-year budget cycle.
  • Must pass House Appropriations before a floor vote
  • The Low Income Housing Alliance supports
  • The Community Advocacy Coalition gives it a thumbs up.

HB 1633
Concerning the preservation of housing options for tenants.
Sponsors: Riccelli, Kirby, Macri, Frame, Goodman, Kagi, Peterson, Jinkins, Ormsby, Kloba, Senn, Stonier, Stanford, Appleton, Robinson, McBride, Doglio, Pollet, Santos

Prohibits landlord discrimination based on an applicant's or tenant's lawful source of income.

Creates a civil action for violations.
A companion bill in the Senate, SB 5407 - sponsored by Frockt, Miloscia, Walsh, Mullet, Billig, Kuderer, Pedersen, Hasegawa, Darneille, Keiser - had a public hearing before Financial Institutions & Insurance but did not move out of committee.

SB 5182
Providing local governments with options to preserve affordable housing in their communities.
Sponsors: Fain, Frockt, Miloscia, Liias, Walsh, Cleveland, Bailey, Chase, Zeiger, Rolfes, Keiser, Darneille, Palumbo, Pedersen, Conway

Allows a city or county to adopt a property tax exemption program to preserve affordable housing for very low-income households. To qualify for this exemption, a minimum of 25 percent of units in a multiple-unit property must be affordable, and in return the property is exempt from local property taxes for 15 consecutive years.

Note: The Washington Association of County Officials testified as “other” (neither support nor opposes) and raised questions about new construction and viability of dates.
  • Needs to pass Senate Ways and Means before a floor vote
  • The Community Advocacy Coalition gives it a thumbs up
  • Low Income Housing Alliance has not yet weighed in

SB 5143
Concerning the exemption of property taxes for nonprofit homeownership development.
Sponsors: Zeiger, Rolfes, Darneille

Creates a tax exemption for nonprofit-owned, single-family dwelling units in order to develop units on the property for sale or lease — for life or 99 years — to low-income households.

  • Needs to pass Senate Ways and Means before a floor vote
  • Low Income Housing Alliance supports

HB 1792
Establishing a fee for certification for the residential services and supports program to cover investigative costs
Sponsors: Kagi, Ormsby

Requires providers of residential services and supports to Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) clients to pay an initial and annual certification fee beginning July 1, 2017.

Establishes that the fee amount may not exceed the DSHS' costs to investigate complaints about provider practice issues and individuals alleged to have abused or neglected, and that it must include the DSHS' costs to reimburse providers for fees attributable to Medicaid clients.

Requires the DSHS to use additional resources from the fees to address growth in their complaint workload and to intervene in a timelier manner when abuse or neglect has occurred.
  • Must pass House Appropriations before a floor vote
  • Community Advocacy Coalition supports


SB 5060
Concerning the number of adult family homes permitted in residential neighborhoods
Sponsors: O'Ban, Conway

Prohibits more than two adult family homes from being located within a four-block area of a residential community.
  • The Community Advocacy Coalition does NOT support this bill

Resources for you:

Action alerts

  • Invest in affordable homes. (SHB 1570 and capital investment in Housing Trust Fund). Support a $200 million investment in affordable homes; and protect and increase funds for homelessness services. Support HB 1570, Washington Housing Opportunities Act.


A legislative briefing: 

Presentation materials