WA Governor Signs Multiple New Bills That Increase Affordable Housing & Address Youth Homelessness

Mia Carlson

Gov. Jay Inslee signed multiple housing bills passed by the 2023 Washington State Legislature.Photo byTVW

OLYMPIA, WA - Washington State Governor Jay Inslee today signed multiple bipartisan housing bills into law, saying the Legislature passed the measures as part of their commitment to building more housing in the state. The bills streamline permitting, encourage smart urban density, standardize regulations, and address youth homelessness. Another bill addresses a history of racist real estate covenants that excluded Washingtonians of color from property ownership and caused intergenerational harm, the Governor's office says.

Inslee says the bills are "the blocks in the foundation to help us go big and build more houses so people can go home."

Inslee Audio Bite

Representative Jessica Bateman (D-Olympia) says the 2023 legislative session was a "landmark" session in regard to housing.

Bateman Audio Bite

One of the bills signed was by Representative Mark Klicker (R-Walla Walla)House Bill 1293 streamlines the permitting process and regulations for developing houses in urban growth areas. It requires cities' and counties' planning under the Growth Management Act to ensure their design review process is clear and objective.

"I'm pleased to see this bill pass because it addresses one of our state's biggest issues," according to Klicker, who is the top-ranking Republican member on the Housing Committee. "This legislation will remove cumbersome obstacles for many developers who sit around waiting for months to start building because of the slow-moving design approval process."

"The legislation will speed up the review process by limiting the number of public hearings required. It also integrates the consolidated review and design process to streamline and expedite the overall approval process," according to House Republicans.

Representative Jessica Bateman (D-Olympia)Photo byTVW

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I am old-school journalism - who, what, where, when, why, and how; and "leave your opinion out of it." Decades of experience covering the region of north-central Idaho and southeast Washington State.

Lewiston, ID

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