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.

 


2019 Affordable Housing and Homelessness Priorities 

Download a PDF version of our lead priorities here
To track our position on key bills during the legislative session visit wliha.org/bill-and-budget-tracker.

Create Affordable Homes 

Invest $200 million in the Housing Trust Fund. 

There is a serious and urgent need for more affordable homes all across Washington. Currently, 71% of renters with extremely low incomes pay more than half their income in rent, leaving little left over for the basics like food, transportation, and childcare. The Housing Trust Fund is Washington’s most effective tool for creating affordable homes, but it has been considerably underfunded in recent years. Significantly increasing the investment in the Housing Trust Fund will enable communities to build safe, healthy, affordable homes that are guaranteed to be affordable for at least 40 years.

 

Help Local Communities House More People, Sooner

Allow local communities to retain a portion of the state’s sales tax to invest directly into affordable homes.

Local communities need significant resources that they can couple with state and federal dollars to build more affordable homes, now. Allowing local jurisdictions to keep a portion of the tax dollars they already collect and use them to build affordable homes is a smart use of existing resources. Allowing communities to bond against these dollars ensures a significant infusion of housing capital.

 

Prevent Homelessness By Reducing Evictions

Implement eviction reform and require cause to terminate tenancy.

 

As a key strategy for preventing homelessness, Washington must provide more protections for renters to help keep them in their homes. Reforming the eviction process to allow tenants more time to catch up on late rental payments will significantly reduce evictions and homelessness, while also reducing court costs and attorney’s fees accrued from the eviction system. Additionally, limiting tenancy termination notices to legitimate business reasons will protect tenants from housing discrimination, retaliation, and displacement.  

 

Expand Washington’s Lifeline for Adults with Disabilities

Significantly increase the Housing and Essential Needs rental assistance program.

Rents are out of reach for many in Washington. Adults experiencing a short or long-term physical or mental health disability are in dire need of rental assistance, and the demand has far outpaced the funding for this critical program. In many communities, all available rental assistance funds have been dispersed, as many people in need sit on waiting lists. Washington must increase funding for the Housing and Essential Needs rental assistance program in the next biennial budget. 

 


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.

Check back for details on our support agenda in December 2018.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and use the hashtag #WAhomes to share news, updates, and stories about affordable homes and cleaning up Washington's tax code. 

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

For past legislative victories click here.