Sunday, February 4, 2018

Housing bills we are tracking in 2018

Now until February 14 is a critical time to act

A bill is a draft of a proposed law. These bills have cleared the initial policy committee hurdles; some still need to clear fiscal committees. Once these hurdles are met, a Rules Committee will decide when and whether to present them to the full chamber for a vote.

If you see a bill you care about, please contact your legislators. You can click on the “Comment on” links here, or call the Legislative Hotline at 1.800.562.6000.

For TTY-ASSISTANCE: 1.800.833.6384 (voice) or 1.800.833.6388 (TTY).

HB 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 the temporary $40 local homeless housing and assistance surcharge permanent. Allows counties to charge and retain an additional surcharge for homeless housing and assistance. Creates new and updated reporting requirements and studies for certain homeless assistance programs.

STATUS: Passed the House, 51-47. Passed the Senate 27-21. Signed by governor March 15.


HB 2345 - Concerning group training homes
SPONSOR: Kilduff

The requirement that group training homes be operated as a nonprofit basis is removed. The requirement that special eligibility and payment provisions for group training homes where parents are actively involved as a member of the board of the group training home is also removed. If there is a group training home board, parents or family members may request to be involved as members of the board.

STATUS: Did not pass. This was a request bill from DSHS; the agency thinks the issue it is concerned about can be addressed through a rule change.

HB 2448 - Increasing the availability of housing for developmentally disabled persons

SPONSORS: Senn, Tharinger, Chapman, Kilduff, Macri, Robinson, Appleton, Kloba, Pollet, Santos, Tarleton

Facilitates the gifting of homes to supported living agencies by exempting the qualified transfers of residential property by the legal representative of a person with developmental disabilities from the real estate excise tax. It also makes remodeling and improvements required for legal operations or to meet building code, meet licensing requirements, or provide functionality to the transferred residential properties eligible for Housing Trust Fund monies.

NOTE: Advocates are seeking a technical change that will need to be made in the Senate.

STATUS: Passed the House, 94-0, with 4 excused. Passed the Senate 48-1.The governor signed March 22.

HB 2381 - Allowing certain adult family homes to increase capacity to eight beds

SPONSORS: Macri, Cody, Tarleton, Santos, Johnson, McBride, Muri, Tharinger, Robinson, Valdez, Stanford, Reeves, Appleton, Harris, Stonier

Allows adult family homes to increase their bed capacity from six to eight beds if they meet specified licensing standards. These are single-family homes in residential settings.

STATUS: Passed the House 97-1. No action in the Senate. Washington Fire Chiefs and Association of Fire Marshals testified against, with concerns about safety. The Arc of Washington testified against.


HB 2437 - Encouraging investments in affordable and supportive housing
SPONSORS: Robinson, Tharinger, Macri, Ryu, Kagi, Pollet, Ormsby, Doglio, Santos, Tarleton

Gives counties the ability to redirect a portion of the sales tax that would otherwise go to the state, to use for affordable homes in their communities. If counties don’t use this option within a certain period, then cities can use the option instead. The bill redirects a portion of the sales tax; it doesn’t increase the tax that consumers pay. It can be used to create new affordable homes or to provide rental assistance to low-income tenants.

STATUS: Passed the House 52-46. No floor vote in the Senate.
HB 2578 - Preserving and expanding rental housing options for persons whose source of income is derived from or includes sources other than employment.
SPONSORS: Riccelli, Kirby, Macri, Peterson, Appleton, McBride, Frame, Doglio, Stanford, Goodman, Senn, Gregerson, Wylie, Sawyer, Kloba, Santos, Ormsby, Robinson, Bergquist

Prohibits discrimination based on a tenant's source of income and creates a civil cause of action for violations. Creates the Landlord Mitigation Program. Increases the affordable housing surcharge to fund mitigation program

STATUS: Passed the House 61-37. Passed the Senate 36-13. Governor signed March 15.

HB 2667 - Concerning eligibility for the essential needs and housing support and the aged, blind, or disabled assistance programs
SPONSORS: Macri, McBride, Ormsby, Stanford, Senn, Stonier, Kloba, Jinkins, Gregerson, Appleton, Ortiz-Self, Wylie, Doglio, Pollet, Slatter, Fey, Goodman, Santos

Expands eligibility for referrals to the Housing and Essential Needs Referral program (HEN) to include recipients of the Aged, Blind, or Disabled cash assistance program. Requires information sharing of limited recipient data between the Department of Social and Health Services, the Department of Commerce, and HEN providers.

STATUS: Passed House 88-10. Passed the Senate 32-17. Signed by the governor March 13. 

A companion bill, SB 6502 (Sponsors: Dhingra, Darneille, Kuderer, SaldaƱa) was heard in Senate Ways and Means on Feb. 5 Comment on SB 6502 

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.

STATUS: Not brought up for a vote. Self Advocates in Leadership testified in support.

SB 5407 - Concerning the preservation of housing options for tenants

SPONSORS: Frockt, Miloscia, Walsh, Mullet, Billig, Kuderer, Pedersen, Hasegawa, Darneille, Keiser

Prohibits landlords from refusing to rent property, expel tenants, discriminate, or discourage a rental to a tenant based on their source of income. Creates a landlord mitigation program in the Department of Commerce allowing landlords to seek reimbursement for repairs of documented damages to qualifying rental units.

STATUS: Passed the Senate 33-14, with 2 excused. A similar bill, HB 2578, passed both chambers as was signed into law.

NOTE: A companion bill in the House (HB 1633) has not moved this session, but passed out of committee last year 

- Ramona Hattendorf, Director of Advocacy
The Arc of King County