Housing bills provide comprehensive solutions to affordability crisis

The Washington state Legislature is considering a new package of bills that would address our crisis-level housing affordability problem. Sightline author Dan Bertolet wrote that the package would address the three main fixes for a housing crisis – more homes, more funding for affordable homes and more tenant protections.

The Seattle region has not built nearly enough housing to keep up with our rapid job and economic growth. As a result of low supply and high demand, rent and home prices have soared out of reach for many.

Because there aren’t enough places to live, homes and apartments that were once affordable have increased their prices to keep up with the market. As a result, more and more people find it difficult to make ends meet.

A recent study by the UW Evictions Project found that households of color are evicted at much higher rates than white households. From 2013-2017, one in 11 black adults was evicted in King County. For white adults, that number was only one in 100.

High prices and limited options have forced residents – especially residents of color, as the UW study shows – out. Evictions and unaffordability contribute to homelessness, an issue that is already urgent and severe.

REALTORS® have long been advocating for many of the common-sense solutions proposed in these bills, including condo liability reform. That’s why housing affordability was the #1 issue at REALTOR® Hill Day in Olympia in January, and it’s why REALTORS® support this legislative package.

More on rent control, affordability and the housing crisis from HousingTranslator.com