Bateman and Barkis: WA needs HB 1110, middle housing tax

opinion and comment

Editorials and other Opinion content offer perspectives on issues important to our community and are independent of the work of our news reporters.


resp. Jessica Bateman, D-Olympia, and Andrew Barkis, R-Olympia

Everyone needs a home. Washingtonians deserve an affordable place to live, work and raise a family — but that dream is out of reach.

According to the Washington Center for Real Estate Research, First-time home buyers can only purchase homes in three Washington countiesAll in Eastern Washington.

Although the single-family home has been the American starter home for decades, it’s an outdated model that’s no longer affordable for first-time buyers. A person must in Seattle Earn $170,000 annually to afford a median-priced home.

There is a shortage of more than 140,000 homes in Washington

To cover this gap, the pace of construction will be tripled.

This is not possible under the status quo, as most cities either limit home construction to single-family homes or allow only single-family homes by requiring minimum lot sizes and setback requirements.

We need to close the housing gap by making it legal to build modest homes in cities where people want to live.

House Bill 1110 Creates a statewide zoning floor, making it legal to have four complexes on any residential lot in cities with a population of 6,000 or more. It also allows construction of six plexes if two units are available to those earning up to 80% of the area median income.

This legislation also makes it legal to build six-plexes near transit, but not exceed local higher density limits.

In addition, HB 1110 requires cities to follow the anti-displacement provisions of HB 1220 (which passed in 2021) to prevent people from having to move unnecessarily.

The average home is making the dream of home ownership a reality for many more families.

Home ownership is essential to broad economic prosperity, creating vibrant, livable and inclusive communities for all. More affordable homes create intergenerational wealth and reduce homelessness.

California and Oregon have already passed this bold reform — and such bold, serious reforms are needed to solve our housing crisis. Business as usual and decades of local uniform zoning got us here. The status quo isn’t working and it’s time for a change.

A change that could help more families own their first home in Washington state.

A change that brings people closer to work and less time spent fighting traffic.

A change that is better for our environment and helps reduce the homelessness crisis.

You can help make that change happen.

If you have a story to tell about your family’s struggle to find an affordable home, please contact us and we will share it with our fellow MPs. Because your story matters – and every family needs a home.

Rep. Jessica Bateman, a Democrat, serves as a strategic health advisor. He served on the Olympia City Council and Planning Commission before becoming a member of the House of Representatives.

Republican Andrew Barkis represents the 2ndand Legislative District. His personal knowledge, experience and leadership as a local business owner contribute to his prioritization of addressing the housing and homelessness crisis.

Follow WT LOCAL on Social Media for the Latest News and Updates.
Share this news on your Facebook,Twitter and Whatsapp.

READ ALSO -  The Corporations Committee shot down the Secretary of State's oversight bill

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter