State Legislative Advocacy

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We advocate for public policy that supports our vision that all Washington residents have the opportunity to live in safe, healthy, affordable homes in thriving communities.


2018 Affordable Housing and Homelessness Priorities 

Download a PDF version of our lead priorities here. (2 pages, updated 1/24)
Download a PDF version of our lead and support issues here. (5 pages, updated 1/24)
Sign-on as an individual or organizational endorser of these priorities here.

To track our position on key bills visit


Build and Preserve Safe, Healthy, Affordable homes.
Update: The legislature passed a Capital Budget with $106.8 million for the Housing Trust Fund! Continue to prioritize funding for affordable homes. 
Download Housing Trust Fund one-pager

The Housing Trust Fund provides homes for families with children, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, farmworkers, and more. It helps families with low incomes become first time homebuyers, and it builds and preserves rental homes in every county in Washington. The Housing Trust Fund is an important part of the solution to homelessness.

Additional Resources:
2017 Stage 2 Housing Trust Fund Applications
Housing Trust Fund/Capital Budget Briefing Paper


Ban Discrimination Based on a Renter's Source of Income.
Close a fair housing loophole that allows landords to discriminate against tenants who use rental assistance by passing HB 2578 or SB 5407.
Download Source of Income Discrimination one-pager (updated 1/11)

In most places in Washington, landlords are allowed to categorically deny applications from tenants simply because they use housing subsidies or income supports to help pay the rent. This limits options for people living on low incomes, and can be a legal loophole for racial and other forms of illegal discrimination. Several cities and counties in Washington already prohibit this practice. Protection against discrimination should be extended statewide.


Secure and Increase Funding for Programs that Prevent and End Homelessness.
Rising housing costs are driving increases in homelessness all along the west coast. Our investments are not keeping up. Washington must meet this growing need by passing HB 1570.
Download HB 1570 one-pager

A modest fee paid to file real estate related documents is the most important source of funds to combat homelessness in Washington. This fee supports domestic violence shelters, youth and young adult services, outreach services, rental assistance, permanent supportive housing services, and more. Local communities can use these funds most effectively when they have flexibility to meet local needs. Current law mandates that 45% of funds be used in the for-profit rental market only, even though private landlords can refuse to accept this form of rental payment. Additionally, more than 60% of the fee is scheduled to expire in 2023, and if that happens, over 37,000 people could be pushed into homelessness.


Protect Washington's lifeline for Seniors and People with Disabilities.
Strengthen life-saving programs that prevent homelessness and help people meet their basic survival needs. Pass HB 1239 to help people applying for federal benefits. Pass HB 1831 or SB 5609 to help people living on very low incomes access housing and income assistance. 
Download Washington's Disability Lifeline one-pager
HB 2667 and SB 6502 Overview

  • The Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) Program provides housing support to ensure a temporary disability does not result in homelessness for adults with very low incomes. It provides access to essential basic needs, including health and hygiene products.
  • The Aged, Blind, and Disabled (ABD) Program helps elderly adults and people with permanent disabilities who are living on very low incomes meet their survival needs by providing cash assistance of up to $197 per month while they apply for federal assistance.
  • The Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) and Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) programs are an important part of our state’s mental health housing safety net. For example, 74.7% of the people who receive ABD assistance and 80.7% of the people who are referred to HEN have a mental health need.


Ensure people with Disabilities Experiencing Chronic Homelessness Can Access Permanent Supportive Housing, Health, and Social Services.
Allow full Operating Budget authority for the supportive housing services Medicaid benefit included in the state's Medicaid Transformation Demonstration.
(One-pager coming soon)

The federal government recently approved the state’s request to use federal Medicaid resources to pay for targeted tenancy support services delivered in permanent supportive housing. This will increase access to housing for people who live with a disability and who are experiencing long-term homelessness. The Operating Budget should provide full authority to implement this benefit.


Support Agenda

In addition to our lead priorities, every year we adopt a support agenda. Some of these bills that are led by our members or allies directly impact affordable housing and related services. Others are not as directly related to affordable homes, but impact the lives of people who live in affordable homes, struggle to keep a roof over their heads, or are experiencing homelessness. People don’t live their lives in silos and while we believe that a home is the basic foundation that everyone needs, it is not all that anyone needs.

The following bills are in numerical order and were approved by our Board of Directors, following a recommendation from the Public Policy Committee.

To track the progress of these and other bills visit


HB 1514 / SB 5520: Requires, with limited exceptions, that a landlord under the Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord Tenant Act provide three years notice of closure or conversion.

HB 1532 / SB 5143: Clarifies the property tax exemption for nonprofit homeownership development. Specifies that the land that is to be leased for 99 years or life to a low-income household is included in the exemption. Specifies that the lease of the exempted land to a low-income household terminates the property tax exemption.

HB 1564: Requires pesticide users to provide a notice of an intended pesticide application, and requires a person who receives a notice to inform a person who may be on the property at the time of application. Requires pesticide applicators to provide monthly reports to the Department of Health (DOH), and requires the DOH to make that information publicly available.

HB 1627: Expands who qualifies as a nonprofit corporation to receive lower-cost financing through the Nonprofit Facilities Program.

HB 1630 / SB 5625: Allows unaccompanied youth aged 13 and older to give consent for the collection of personally identifying information for the Washington Homeless Client Management Information System.

HB 1797: Allows first and second class cities to apply for a one-time remittance of 4.37 percent of the state sales and use tax on public purchases for affordable housing development or public infrastructure to support such development. Allows the governing body of a county to authorize the local sales and use tax used for mental health services and affordable housing. Authorizes cities and counties to impose an additional local real estate excise tax, up to 0.25 of the property selling price, for the purpose of funding affordable housing development. Allows revenue from the existing local real estate excise taxes (REET I & REET II) to be used for affordable housing development.

HB 1798 / SB 5627: Requires landlords, under the Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord-Tenant Act, to provide a written notice of opportunity to purchase to the Department of Commerce within three days after receipt of a bona fide offer to purchase. Prohibits landlords from closing on the sale of a manufactured/mobile home community until 90 days after delivery of the notice of opportunity. Provides that a landlord failing to provide the requisite notice or wait 90 days to close is liable to the state in the amount of $5,000 or 5 percent of the total sales price, whichever is greater, and authorizes the Attorney General to bring a civil action for such violations. Extends the exemption from the real estate excise tax (REET) for a qualified sale of a manufactured/mobile home community from December 31, 2018, to December 31, 2026, and imposes a higher REET on a sale other than a qualified sale.

HB 1884 / SB 5678: Expands eligibility requirements and compensation allowances for relocation assistance provided to mobile and manufactured homeowners.

HB 2040 / SB 5408: Extends the notice of termination period for tenancies under the residential landlord-tenant act. 

HB 2330: Removes the requirement that a youth be in foster care at the time that he or she reaches age 18 to be eligible for extended foster care. Extends the time period that an individual can request extended foster care from up to age 19 to age 21. Allows individuals to unenroll and reenroll in extended foster care an unlimited number of times.

HB 2364 / SB 6371: Increases the Housing Finance Commission’s (HFC’s) debt limit from $6 billion to $8 billion. Expands the organizations eligible for lower-cost financing through the HFC’s Nonprofit Facilities Program. 

HB 2371: Requires the Department of Social and Health Services to pass through a portion of child support collections for families receiving assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

HB 2382: Requires certain designated state agencies to remit ten percent of any net proceeds from the sale of state real property to the Housing Trust Fund, through 2029. Requires all state agencies to notify state, local, federal and tribal entities of any sale of surplus state lands and to offer to dispose of the property to any such entity upon any mutually agreeable terms. Allows any state or local agency to dispose of property to any public, private, or nongovernmental body for a public benefit use, on any mutually agreeable terms, including a no-cost transfer.

HB 2437: Authorizes the governing body of a county to impose a local sales tax, credited against the state sales tax, for affordable or supportive housing. (download a one-pager here)

HB 2448: Exempts the qualified transfers of residential property by the legal representative of a person with developmental disabilities from the Real Estate Excise Tax. Requires the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council to develop a model transfer agreement. Makes remodeling and improvements required to meet building code, meet licensing requirements, or provide functionality to the transferred residential properties eligible for Housing Trust Fund monies.

HB 2583 / SB 6400: Repeals provisions that prohibit towns, cities, and counties from enacting, maintaining, or enforcing ordinances which regulate the amount of rent to be charged for single-family or multiple-unit residential rental structures.

HB 2878 / SB 6322: Declares that community members should be protected from pesticide exposure and notified of certain pesticide applications to prevent unnecessary exposure. Requires a pesticide user to provide written notice of an intended pesticide application in accordance with certain requirements. Requires the department of health to develop a list of individuals who apply to receive notification of pesticide applications on adjacent property. Authorizes the department of health and the department of labor and industries to investigate and assess a civil fine in accordance with administrative procedures for certain violations in this act. Prohibits the civil fine from exceeding seven thousand five hundred dollars.

SB 5480: Requires that landlords provide new residential tenants with voter registration information at the time the tenant signs the lease.


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Watch this page for regular updates. For more information, contact Director of Policy and Advocacy Michele Thomas at

For past legislative victories click here.