The Impact – January 20, 2021
After years of rising property values 2020 brought an explosion in home prices. With people working from home and ultra-low interest rates homebuyers face fierce competition for limited inventory.
Leaders from the Senate Housing and Local Government Committee weigh in on the sky high cost of housing and what the legislature can do about it.
Taxes, regulations, construction hurdles, and zoning restrictions are all up for debate.
“It’s going to require us to take a long hard look at our tax structure, but once, if we were to reform that, we could open up resources to dedicate to the Housing Trust Fund,” said Sen. Patty Kuderer, (D-Bellevue), Chair, Senate Housing and Local Government Committee.
“Every month of delay costs them $147,000 in interest,” said Sen. Phil Fortunato, (R-Auburn), Ranking Member, Senate Housing and Local Government Committee. “We need to have a fixed number of days that complete this process, get your permit and get going.”
Another big question facing the committee is what to do when the eviction moratorium ends. As back rent adds up, it puts tenants and landlords in a troubling spot.
“The worst thing we could do is set people out of their homes during a pandemic. On the other hand we’ve asked a lot of our landlords,” said Kuderer.
“When the eviction ban is ended these people are going to owe ten, fifteen, twenty thousand dollars in rent,” said Fortunato. “We’re going to pay the landlord in exchange for him not pursuing rent from the people that he could evict because they didn’t pay the rent. Well what about the guy who did pay the rent?”
Lawmakers also debate homelessness and camping on public property in this week’s episode of “The Impact.”