All bills are technically still alive, but if they don’t defund or otherwise knee-cap transit, they are unlikely to get much interest for having the rules waived for them. Some bills dealing with the McCleary contempt-of-court order might even get consideration some time before the legislators go home for the year.
Bills passed out of House
Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1514, originally sponsored by Rep. June Robinson (D – Everett) et al, would require, with limited exceptions, that a landlord under the Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord Tenant Act provide 18 months notice of closure or conversion. Exceptions would include when the property is taken through imminent domain; when the property is sold to a tenants’ organization, a local government, a nonprofit, or a housing authority that preserves the housing; or the landlord compensates the tenants for the loss of their homes at their assessed value prior to a change of use or sale of the property.
ESHB 1514 passed out of the House 54-42-0-2 on February 27. It now awaits a hearing in the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee. The companion bill, SB 5520, failed to get a hearing in that committee.
SHB 1532, by the House Finance Committee, and originally sponsored by Rep. Kristine Lytton (D – Anacortes) and Dave Hayes (R – Camano Island), would amend the property tax exemption for real property owned by a nonprofit entity for the purpose of developing residences to be sold to low-income households to include single-family dwelling units where the land is leased for life or 99 years. This could include single units that are part of a multi-unit dwelling. A committee amendment has the exemption from property taxes expire for the land value, once the lease is executed.
SHB 1532 passed out of the House 79-18-0-1 on March 7. It is now waiting for a hearing in the Senate Human Services, Mental Health & Housing Committee. The companion bill, SSB 5143, made it out of the Senate Rules Committee but failed to get a vote in the Senate.
HB 1616, requested by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, and sponsored by Rep. Joan McBride (D – Kirkland) et al, would expand the type of allowable land that loans may be made for, under the Affordable Housing Land Acquisition Revolving Loan Fund Program, to include land that already has structures on it, not just vacant property. Purchasers would then be able to tear down the structures to build new housing, or convert the structures into housing.
HB 1616 passed out of the House 79-16-0-0 on February 28. It is now waiting for a hearing in the Senate Human Services, Mental Health & Housing Committee.
HB 1627, requested by Washington State Housing Finance Commission, and sponsored by Reps. Cindy Ryu (D – Shoreline) and Joan McBride (D – Kirkland), would expand the definition of “nonprofit corporation,” for the purpose of eligibility to receive lower-cost financing through WSHFC’s Nonprofit Facilities Program, to include any public development authority and organizations eligible to receive assistance through the Department of Commerce’s Affordable Housing Program.
HB 1627 passed out of the House 68-30-0-0 on February 28. It is now waiting for a hearing in the Senate Human Services, Mental Health & Housing Committee.
SHB 1763, by the House Finance Committee, and originally sponsored by Rep. Robinson et al, would expand the property tax exemption for nonprofit organizations providing housing to low-income individuals with developmental disabilities to include adult family homes for individuals with development disabilities in which at least 75% of the residents are low-income, removing the current requirement that all residents be low-income in order to qualify. A committee amendment sunsets the exemption in 2028.
SHB 1763 passed out of the House 90-7-0-1 on March 7. It is now waiting for a hearing in the Senate Human Services, Mental Health & Housing Committee.
Bills passed Senate
Substitute Senate Bill 5077, by the Senate Law & Justice Committee, and originally sponsored by Sen. Jan Angel (R – Port Orchard) et al, would allow the Department of Corrections to provide rental vouchers for up to three months to persons released from the Washington Corrections Center for Women or the Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women. Per testimony, 16 women were released from custody into homelessness last year.
SSB 5077 passed out of the Senate 49-0-0-0 on February 27. It is scheduled for a hearing in the House Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs Committee on March 15.
SB 5615, by Sen. Tim Sheldon (D – Potlatch) et al, would permit counties to establish manufactured housing communities outside of urban growth areas in the same manner as fully contained communities.
Both Futurewise and the Association of Manufactured Home Owners testified against the bill. They pointed out the high cost of providing services to new developments in rural areas. They also suggested that zoning an area as manufactured housing community be a requirement for permitting a manufactured housing community, in order to give residents assurance they would be able to stay there long-term.
SB 5615 passed out of the Senate 30-19-0-0 on March 1, and is now in the House Environment Committee. The companion bill, HB 1846, didn’t get a hearing in the House Environment Committee.
SSB 5657, by the Senate Local Government Committee, and originally sponsored by Sens. Mark Miloscia (R – Federal Way) and Ann Rivers (R – La Center), would prohibit county, city, and town ordinances from placing undue burden on religious organizations providing housing or shelters for the homeless, but would allow ordinances requiring 3-month breaks between hostings, and would require a hosting religious organization to enter into a written agreement to provide residents of temporary shelters access to public health and safety assistance.
SSB 5657 passed out of the Senate 49-0-0-0 on February 28, and is scheduled for a hearing in the House Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs Committee on March 5. Its companion bill, SHB 2044, failed to get out of the House Rules Committee.
SB 5674, by Sens. Guy Palumbo (D – Maltby) and Joe Fain (R – Auburn), would allow the legislative authority of cities, towns, and counties to, by ordinance, delegate final plat (subdivision) approval to an established planning commission, planning agency, or other authorized administrative personnel in accordance with state law and local charter.
Planning commissions review all plats for their conformance with the relevant comprehensive plan, and then send their recommendations to the legislative authority for preliminary plat approval. The plats then go back to the planning commission to confirm the final plat meets its recommendations. Even noncontroversial plats can then get gummed up by having to wait for a spot on the legislative authority’s agenda, which tends to add a few months in the middle of budget season. If there are no changes, this requirement for another vote by the legislative authority adds unnecessary cost and delay to housing construction.
SB 5674 passed out of the Senate 44-0-0-5 on March 3, and is now waiting for a hearing in the House Local Government Committee. A substitute version of its companion bill, HB 1862, passed out of the House Local Government Committee on February 15, but failed to get out of the House Rules Committee.