2023 is the year of housing!

Dear friends and neighbors,

At the beginning of this year’s legislative session, we declared that 2023 would be the year of housing – and we did not disappoint. Over 50 bills were introduced this session related to solving our state’s housing crisis. These were bipartisan, bicameral proposals aimed at creating more homes for the families of Washington.

I wanted to take a moment to talk about some of the most important bills we passed and investments we made this year to increase our housing supply, stabilize costs for families, and provide housing support to those who need it most.


Click here to watch me speak about the crucial housing bills we passed this year

Increasing our middle housing supply (HB 1110): We did it! HB 1110 was signed into law, making it easier for us to build more homes of all shapes and sizes in more of our communities. Modest middle housing options like duplexes and triplexes provide more affordable options for Washington’s working families while also slowing suburban sprawl, preventing deforestation, reducing pollution-causing traffic, and protecting our watersheds.

Our state needs to build over a million new homes in the next 20 years to keep up with demand and this bill will help us get there. Thank you all for your continued support for legalizing modest middle housing these last few years!

Easing barriers to building accessory dwelling units (HB 1337): Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are some of the most affordable options to rapidly build up our supply of housing here in Washington. This bill makes it easier to bring these housing options to more of our communities.

Building permanent affordable housing on surplus public property (HB 1695): At a time when our state faces an unprecedented housing crisis, we must use every tool and resource at our disposal to provide families the homes they need. One of the best ways to do that is building permanent affordable housing on unused state-owned property. This bill will make it easier to create deeply affordable housing for low-income neighbors for generations to come. 

Protecting renters from unfair deposit claims (HB 1074): Ever had your rent deposit withheld and didn’t know why? This bill gives landlords 30 days to submit a statement for retaining any portion of a tenant’s deposit and substantiate the cost of those damages with documentation. It also prohibits landlords from withholding deposits in certain cases like normal wear and tear.

Covenant homeownership (HB 1474): Our state has a shameful history of using racist laws & covenants to deny families access to homeownership. And while those discriminatory covenants are no longer legal, the devastating effects are still felt today. This bill establishes a covenant homeownership account program to provide down payment and closing cost assistance to groups of people historically barred from homeownership because of these racist covenants.


And that’s not all! We also invested over $1.2 billion dollars to address our housing & homelessness crisis, including:

  • $400 million for the state’s Housing Trust Fund
  • $170 million for building affordable housing and shelter
  • $141 million for emergency housing and rental assistance
  • $150 million for the covenant homeownership program
  • $124 million for low-income weatherization projects & energy efficiency rebates
  • $60 million for encampment response and outreach
  • $30 million to address children & youth homelessness
  • $27 million for the Housing and Essential Needs program

But our work isn’t done yet. We still need to do more to prioritize building affordable homes close to transit, schools and our workplaces. We also need to do more to protect our renters from unsustainable rent increases. I look forward to coming back to continue working on these issues next session.

There may not be a single magic solution to our state’s housing crisis, but I’m confident that the steps we took this year puts us on the right path.

It is such a privilege to represent our community at the Capitol. Regular session may be over, but my door is always open! Never hesitate to reach out to me by phone at (360) 786-7992 or online. I look forward to seeing you around the 22nd this interim!

Best wishes,

Bateman Signature

State Representative Jessica Bateman
22nd Legislative District