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Published on Saturday, January 20, 2018

Affordable housing and homelessness bills on the move

A number of affordable housing and homelessness bills of importance to cities continue to move through the process. Here’s a status summary of our “top tier” bills below.

HB 1570 makes the temporary $40 local homeless housing and assistance surcharge permanent. This is a very important source of funding for state and local homelessness funding. Initially introduced in 2017, this bill is scheduled for a vote in the House Appropriations Committee on January 22.

HB 1797 contains a number of local option tools that cities could use in support of affordable housing efforts. This includes a sales tax rebate for affordable housing and authority to use local Real Estate Excise Tax revenues for affordable housing development. This bill nearly passed in 2017. It’s now eligible for a vote on the floor of the House.

HB 2437 would provide a local option 0.025 percent credit against the state sales tax for affordable housing purposes. Counties would be given the first choice, and if they do not choose to use the option, it would then be provided to cities. Funds could be bonded against, and used for the acquisition, construction, maintenance, or operations of affordable housing, as well as rental assistance or to provide services within supportive housing. This bill is scheduled for a vote in the House Finance Committee on January 23.

HB 2667 addresses a technical issue that prevents the aged, blind, and or disabled from receiving adequate support from the Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) program leading to housing instability and homelessness. This bill passed out of the House Early Learning & Human Services Committee on January 19.

Categories: Housing, Human services