Saturday, January 28, 2023

Affordable housing legislation introduced in Olympia

Staff Report | January 19, 2023 4:42 PM

OLYMPIA - Two new pieces of legislation, House Bill 1401 and House Bill 1402, will allow the development of affordable housing to be more accessible for cities and counties around Washington.

"We have a housing shortage in Washington, and we aren't going to fix it all in a day," said Rep. Cyndy Jacobsen, (R-Puyallup). "But we can pass common sense legislation that starts making a difference now. Both bipartisan bills would remove some of the obstacles to affordable housing and give more Washingtonians the opportunity to own a home."

House Bill 1401, sponsored by Jacobsen, would empower all cities and counties to adopt a simple, low-cost, expedited permit process for the development of single-family, duplex, triplex, or accessory dwelling units with less than 1,801 square feet per unit, a release by Jacobsen’s office states. The expedited process is designed to lower costs and simplify the building of housing units tailored to low- to moderate-income households in urban areas.

The release also states that Jacobsen also filed House Bill 1402 this week, which would give cities and counties the flexibility to adjust urban boundaries to include different or more land so developers and home builders would have additional area to work with.

"We need legislation that gives more control to local governments and allows them to make permitting decisions based on their own needs and circumstances," said Rep. Cyndy Jacobsen, R-Puyallup. “This simple bill is a real solution to help pave the way for additional affordable housing options for the people of Washington."

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