Kent Sen. Das sponsors affordable homes legislation

Bill would expand middle-income housing near transit sites

Sen. Mona Das

Sen. Mona Das

State Rep. Jessica Bateman, D-Olympia, and Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent introduced legislation to make it easier for Washington families to find safe and affordable homes, especially in areas near transit sites.

The Homes for WA Act will re-legalize familiar housing options in these locations, like duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes, according to a Jan. 6 Washington State Senate Democrats news release. The 2022 legislative session begins Jan. 10 and goes for 60 days.

“Housing costs continue to skyrocket faster than wages can keep up,” Bateman said. “Families frequently spend half or more of their income simply to keep a roof over their heads. These costs are unsustainable and mean a growing number of Washingtonians are at risk of falling into homelessness. This is especially true for members of the Black and indigenous communities, people of color, the LGBTQ community, seniors, people with disabilities, and low-wage workers.”

The legislation (House Bill 1782 and Senate Bill 5670) is intended to expand middle-income housing near transit sites to provide options for residents seeking safer, shorter and more affordable commutes, according to the news release.

“I, like so many of our neighbors, am a renter who’s ready to buy a home but can’t afford what’s available,” Das said. “Here in our state – where so many of our community members want to live, work, go to school, and raise a family – there’s simply not enough affordable housing stock. This problem is hampering our ability to grow stronger as a state, bolster our economy, and help more working families unlock their dream of home ownership.

“I’m so honored to introduce this bill alongside my colleague Rep. Bateman and Gov. Jay Inslee because it’s well past time that we address this problem with the bold action Washingtonians have been advocating for.”

Middle-income families are frequently required to absorb increased commute costs as they are forced further away from their workplaces and transit hubs, according to the news release. Shortening commutes and increasing transit access will also reduce air pollution and help Washington meets its goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“We must restore the full range of housing available in cities throughout our state,” said Inslee, who requested the legislation. “Everyone needs a community, and so we must build communities that are for everyone. I’m not just talking about the homeless, or those living with the threat of homelessness. I’m also talking about future generations of renters, prospective home-owners, and any Washingtonians who will benefit from greater housing security.

“Increasing ‘middle housing’ opportunities will make it easier for most working folks, like teachers and health care workers, to live within the communities they serve. It will also help seniors to age in place and help us address spatial segregation and community equity.”

The bill is headed to the Local Government Committee in the House and Local Government & Housing Committee in the Senate.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

t
City of Kent meets with Republic Services over lack of garbage service

Discussions during work stoppage include more drop-off events; possible bill credits

t
Woman’s body found in Kent’s Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks Park

Police trying to determine identify of woman and how she died

t
Kent School District closes individual classrooms at 3 more schools

Due to COVID-19 cases at Soos Creek, Ridgewood and Meridian elementary schools

t
Kent Police Blotter: Dec. 27 to Jan. 9

Robberies, stolen vehicles, shootings, road rage

File photo
County auditor finds agencies fall short on emergency services

The auditor’s office recommends clarifying responsibilities and accountability for effective planning.

t
Two extricated from vehicles in Military Road crash in Kent

Head-on collision Thursday night, Jan. 13

COURTESY PHOTO
No garbage, recycling service in Kent for third straight day due to work stoppage

Republic Services sets up temporary drop-off site at ShoWare Center

During a news conference Thursday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee explains the deployment of the National Guard to hospitals to assist with the coronavirus surge. (TVW) 20220113
Surgeries paused, National Guard deployed to assist hospitals

King County health officials say 1 in 7 ICU and acute-care hospital beds are occupied by a COVID patient.

t
City of Kent wants Republic Services to set up drop-off site

Trash, recycling piling up during work stoppage as drivers honor union strike in San Diego

Most Read