Let's Make #Homes4WA

Washington faces a very deep housing availability and affordability crisis. It has only worsened in the past several years. It's time for Washington to face this crisis head on.

This year, there are a lot of good bills in the Washington State Legislature that could tackle portions of the housing crisis, but few will make much headway if we don't deal with a primary culprit in the room: zoning. As esoteric as zoning may seem, it controls what can and cannot happen on property. Zoning limits across the state favor one single-family home per lot with typically only six or fewer lots per acre. This is a recipe for disaster and exclusion as cities like Vancouver, Spokane, Kent, Everett, Bellevue, and Seattle say "we're full."

This zoning approach forces homebuilding to the fringes and limits homebuilding to the most expensive type of residential construction. That creates a serious crunch for all sorts of households, like low-income, young folks, new parents, single folks, and elders, who need affordable housing that suits their needs.

Statewide zoning reform is a big part of the solution to this problem. Several bills in the state legislature would tackle elements of restrictive urban zoning, including HB 1782/SB 5670 (missing middle housing), HB 2020 (housing near major transit hubs), SB 5818 (restraining SEPA appeals of infill housing), and HB 1660 (mandating zoning reforms for accessory dwelling units).

It's time to take action to house Washington. Let your legislators know we need their help to house everyone.

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