Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Legislature Back in Session in Olympia as Rental Association Clamors for Prioritization of Housing Creation


The Washington Multifamily Housing Association is calling on the 2021 Washington Legislature to prioritize housing creation rather than enacting policies that would drag the industry backwards.

Here are some proven tools WMFHA is asking the Washington State legislature to consider:

Rental assistance: allocating significant resources to financial assistance programs for renters impacted financially by COVID-19. These programs have a proven track record of success in reducing poverty and supporting housing stability in the long run.

Multifamily tax aid: investing and expanding the state’s Multifamily Tax Exemption program, which incentivizes the creation of affordable housing by offering tax incentives for housing developers that keep rents below market rate. Since 2007, the program has created an estimated 7,325 affordable units and 27,560 market-rate units across Washington state.

Public private partnerships: supporting public investment and partnerships with the private sector that create a range of housing that fits the needs of more people. This can include coordinating the construction of transit-oriented affordable housing near future light rail stations, like in King County

Housing levies: supporting jurisdictional programs that develop and preserve affordable housing and provide direct assistance to families at immediate risk of eviction or homelessness. In Seattle, housing levies have enabled the construction of 12,500 apartments with below-market rents.

WMFHA is calling for the organization to avoid:

  1. Rent control
  2. Emergency orders without a plan
  3. Additional barriers to housing creation

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