Senn legislation increasing housing for individuals with developmental disabilities passes House

OLYMPIA—Earlier today, the House of Representatives approved legislation to increase the availability of housing for people with developmental disabilities. House Bill 2448, sponsored by Rep. Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island, passed the House on a unanimous vote.

Many aging parents of adult children with developmental disabilities are concerned about what will happen to their children in the future. Due to limitations on a person’s assets in order to receive services, these parents do not have the option to leave their homes to their children with developmental disabilities.

In addition, Washington state has a demand and need for community housing for people with developmental disabilities.

House Bill 2448 addresses both of these concerns through a public-private partnership. The bill will provide a real estate excise tax exemption for families that donate their homes to residential supported living nonprofits. A guarantee will allow the adult child with developmental disabilities to continue to live in the home, as well as ensure that the home is utilized as residential supportive living for a minimum of fifty years.

The bill also provides that remodeling or improvements needed for the donated housing to meet the requirements of supportive living are eligible for funds from the Housing Trust Fund.

“I think this is a win-win situation, bringing peace of mind to parents of children with disabilities, bringing stability for those people with disabilities, relieving the Housing Trust Fund and making virtually no impact on our state budget,” said Senn during her remarks on the House floor.

House Bill 2448 now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

Rep. Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island, speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives, February 1, 2018.