2022 Legislative Session Preview: Housing

Thursday, January 6, 2022 | Noon-1pm | Online

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If there’s one area where Republicans and Democrats agree in Olympia – and there’s aren’t many – it’s that we need figure out how to build more housing. Washington doesn’t have enough of it, and state policymakers know they need to do more.

From providing state funding for affordable housing to identifying new resources for local governments to raise funds, legislators have struggled to address the crisis. Compounding the problem from the state’s perspective is unwillingness on the part of local governments to embrace state mandates on land use. Legislators have tried to get around this problem by passing “carrot and stick” legislation which offers state funding for local government work to increase density and housing production but does not require it.

2022 may be the year when legislators tire of this incremental approach. Bills to require cities larger than 25,000 to allow four units per parcel are expected, as are more creative approaches such as housing benefit districts.

And then there is the money. The White House’s Build Back Better proposal could bring significant affordable housing investments into the state. Advocates will push for more funding in the 2022 supplemental budgets in addition to supporting bills that provide local governments with new sources of revenue for affordable housing.

Join AIA|WA policy staff and guests from other housing advocacy organizations for this preview of what we expect to see on housing policy during the 2022 state legislative session.

Questions: Kirsten Smith, kirstens@aiaseattle.org, 206-708-3199