South King County has seen some of the highest increases in rent and home sale prices. Without preserving and building more affordable and attainable housing, families will continue to be displaced from their neighborhoods and forced further from their jobs and communities. The following state legislative priorities focus on legislation that will positively impact South King County communities by increasing housing stability, preventing displacement, authorizing local affordable housing tools and revenue options, and providing funding for affordable housing.
INCREASE HOUSING STABILITY AND PREVENT DISPLACEMENT
- Support the establishment of statewide rental and vacant property registration program for the purpose of inventorying both tenant-occupied and potentially available rental housing, for the benefit of landlords and tenants.
- Provide funding support for tenants’ Right to Counsel program and pre-eviction legal aid. Right to Counsel provides low-income tenants a free lawyer in eviction court. Pre-eviction legal aid is an anti-displacement strategy and can prevent cases from entering the court process.
LOCAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING TOOLS AND REVENUE OPTIONS
- Authorize local option Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) for affordable housing and displacement prevention. Addressing the affordable housing needs cannot be solved without vastly increasing the funding for affordable housing. A local REET option will provide critical local funding resources necessary to preserve affordable housing and
help counter displacement in South King County.
- Amend surplus land dispossession policies to support homeownership. Expand the use of public property for the purposes of affordable housing to moderate-income households by allowing a public benefit purpose to include both affordable rental housing and permanently affordable homeownership.
- Provide planning resources and support to help local governments plan for more diverse housing supply and prevent displacement prevention by implementing best practices and policies that ensure planning for housing at all economic segments.
FUND AFFORDABLE HOUSING
- Fully fund the Washington State Housing Trust Fund and authorize new sources of funding that do not disproportionately burden low-income households, and support continued affordable homeownership investments