At the behest of the Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, the Department of Commerce assembled the Housing Affordability Response Team (HART), with the of examining the housing supply, and ways to alleviate the difficulties encountered by Washingtonians trying to live affordably. The entire report can be found here.
The report’s executive summary gives the following 7 suggestions, expanded on in the body of the report:
1. Provide funding and support to local governments to plan for housing at every income
level, especially for lower-income levels.
2. Provide funding to local governments to assess land capacity through “buildable
3. Provide broad-based education to encourage communities to facilitate the
development of more affordable housing.
4. Seek responsible changes to development-related statutes and regulations to
facilitate housing development. Small changes to statutes such as the Project Review
Act, Subdivision Act, the State Building Code, impact fees, multifamily tax exemptions,
community revitalization financing, and prevailing wage determinations could add up
to make a difference.
5. Provide stable and dependable state funding for housing by providing predictable
funding to the Housing Trust Fund, making document-recording fees permanent, and
encouraging local adoption of local housing levies.
6. Encourage public agencies to consider underutilized publicly owned property as an
opportunity for affordable housing.
7. Continue this work into the future by finding opportunities to collaborate with
existing work groups and projects to carry these ideas forward.