Taking Action on Washington’s Housing Crisis

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Greetings, Friends and Neighbors!  

We’re almost halfway done with the Legislative Session! This year, my colleagues and I identified housing as our top legislative priority. Washington’s housing supply is short about 150,000 units, and this number is growing exponentially. We need more homes of all types, so everyone has an affordable place to live. This means allowing more diverse home options and streamlining the regulatory process. We’re working on addressing Washington’s housing supply crisis through more diverse home options and a streamlined permitting process 

Without more units, we will never fix the housing crisis. Democrats and Republicans are working toward a shared vision to address Washington’s housing supply crisis through more diverse home options and a streamlined permitting process to stabilize and support housing for all. Here’s a look at what we’ve done so far:  


Expanding Housing Supply

Increasing middle housing supply: HB 1110 would increase the middle housing supply by requiring cities to allow more diverse housing options in residential neighborhoods, depending on city size. These changes will be focused on neighborhoods near amenities and transit. 

Transit Oriented Development: HB 1517 provides development targets within ¾ of a mile around light rail and bus rapid transit station areas and gives local jurisdictions flexible tools to meet these targets in ways that reflect the unique characteristics of their communities. 

Easing barriers to accessory dwelling units: HB 1337 requires cities and counties to allow ADUs in urban growth areas (UGAs) and prohibits certain regulations that hinder ADU construction. City or county must comply with at least three of the following regulations: 

  • No parking requirements. 
  • No impact fees that are greater than 50% of the impact fees of the principal unit. 
  • Owners do not need to reside on the lot. 
  • Must allow at least two ADUs on the lot. 

Establishing limitations on detached ADUs outside of Urban Growth Areas: HB 1133 authorizes rural counties to allow ADU construction in their Growth Management Act planning but limits ADUs to one attached or detached unit per lot. This expands ADU use in a way that will be more acceptable to rural counties. 

Residential housing regulations: HB 1167 requires the development of preapproved middle housing plans. It also tasks the state building code council with coming up with recommended changes to bring multiplex housing code in line with one- and two-unit housing code, making it easier to build triplexes, quads and other multiplex housing options. 

Ensuring Housing Stabilization

Protecting tenants from excessive rent increases: HB 1388 addresses practices that allows landlords to charge excessive rent. Excessive rent is defined in the bill as a rate that exceeds the rate of inflation or a maximum increase of 7 percent. The bill also applies the consumer protection act to the residential landlord-tenant act and the manufactured/mobile home landlord-tenant act. That enables the Attorney General to investigate allegations of prohibited rental practices, and if passed into law, the bill allows courts to impose civil penalties against bad actors in the rental market. Tenants would also be able to sue landlords who engaged in prohibited practices. 

Notification of excessive rent increases: HB 1124 requires a 6-month notice for rent increases over 5%, and creates predictability for renters and landlords alike. Renters are protected because their rent won’t increase dramatically without notice.  Landlords will have stability because a large rent hike is less likely to lead to empty units. There is an exemption for rental agreements with income-based rental rates. 

Expanding Housing Supports

Individuals with developmental disabilities and their families face an acute lack of housing options and supports. It’s critical that in our housing work, we prioritize safe, affordable housing options for people with DDs, expand the capacity for building DD housing, increase the Housing Trust Fund Developmental Disabilities set-aside, and ensure stable housing for homeless families caring for children with DDs and homeless adults with DDs.  

Accelerating stability for people with a work-limiting disability or incapacity: HB 1260 places income eligibility standards for the Essential Needs and Housing program within rule, alongside other support systems to create a net of stability for folks with a disability preventing or limiting their capacity to work.  

Tax exemptions for family homes serving people with DDs: HB 1265 establishes a property tax exemption for properties owned by nonprofits that are used as adult family homes for folks with DDs to increase and stabilize housing supply opportunities.  

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Happy Black History Month!

Black history is American history, and we are creating it, celebrating it, and shaping it every day of the year.⁠⁠ In 2023, the eleven members of the bicameral Legislative Black Caucus make the largest cohort in state history. Black history is now.⁠⁠ 

⁠⁠This year, the mission of the LBC is to ensure the experiences, needs and solutions of Black people throughout Washington state are represented, prioritized, and made real in our pursuit of justice, equity, and opportunity for all. Our work today is the foundation for a better future for Washington. We celebrate and honor the legacy of Black Americans whose leadership, resilience, and excellence have made significant legislative impact and have made Washington a better place for all—we are proud to carry on this legacy. 

This year, I’ve sponsored HB 1474 to address racially restrictive real estate covenants and provide down payment and closing cost assistance to people identified as having been generationally harmed by racially restrictive covenants. Even if we address housing supply and stability, some people will still be unable to afford rent or come up with the initial down payment required to achieve homeownership. We need to increase our investment in deeply affordable housing so that every single Washingtonian has a roof over their head. Everyone deserves the dignity of a safe place to call home. 

Friday, February 17th was the policy cutoff, and I’m proud to share that all of the above legislation has been successfully voted out of committee and is up for consideration in fiscal committees if applicable, and the House Floor.  


Thank you so much to all of you who have reached out to provide feedback, share your stories, and advocate for your communities. Please don’t hesitate to reach out at 360-786-7898 or Jamila.Taylor@leg.wa.gov, or, contact my legislative assistant, Preeya (Preeya.Williams@leg.wa.gov) to find a time to visit us in Olympia.  

With Gratitude,


Rep. Jamila Taylor