Governor proposes legislation to address Washington’s housing crisis

by Lindsey Wells

Legislation proposed this month by Washington Governor Jay Inslee could significantly impact the state’s housing supply and affordable homeownership crisis. 

During a press conference on Dec. 15, Inslee introduced the proposed “missing middle housing” legislation that would legalize and incentivize duplexes, triplexes, quads and lot splits on all residential lots located within half a mile of a major transit stop in Washington’s larger cities, according to a press release by Washington REALTORS®.

A lack of inventory in all counties has caused housing prices to rise to the extent that homeownership is unattainable for many of the state’s residents, despite Washington having the highest GDP growth of any state in the last five years. 

As communities continue to grow and more people compete for the same limited housing supply, the crisis will only worsen.

Washington Realtor Jasmyn Jefferson of the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS® spoke during the conference to emphasize the impacts of the housing crisis, including homeownership disparities for communities of color. “Homeownership is the single most important way for families to build wealth, and to truly achieve equity in Washington State, we must ensure that all families have the opportunity for homeownership,” Jefferson said.

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