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Published on Friday, February 3, 2017

Local options for affordable housing bill has public hearing on February 7

AWC’s priority bill to provide new local option revenue tools for cities to address affordable housing will receive a hearing on February 7 at 10 am in the House Community Development and Housing Committee. This bill contains a number of tools that will be politically challenging to pass. It is critical for you to contact your House and Senate members to support the creation of new tools for your community to respond to these challenges. Share your local situation and what you would like to be able to do with this new authority.

HB 1797 from Rep. Joan McBride (D-Kirkland) includes:

  • New authority for an optional real estate excise tax (REET) for affordable housing
  • Authorization for the use of existing REET 1 and 2 for affordable housing purposes
  • A new tool to reinvest the sales tax on construction of a new multifamily development into either public infrastructure or housing subsidies to bring down the cost of rent in those new units
  • Allows the optional sales tax authority for affordable housing granted in 2015 to be adopted directly by the council instead of requiring a public vote

To reiterate, it is highly unlikely that any of these tools will pass without an outpouring of support from the local communities. If you support these concepts or the need to provide more tools, talk to your legislators!

Categories: Housing