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Inside Olympia — Affordable Housing w/Reps. Strom Peterson and Andrew Barkis

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The lack of affordable housing in Washington has brought a strong bipartisan effort in the 2023 legislative session to address the issue. What can the Legislature do, and is it enough? Host Austin Jenkins sits down with Representative Strom Peterson, who chairs the newly created House Housing Committee, and Representative Andrew Barkis, a member of that committee who has a long career in property management and real estate. 

Some of the solutions being considered by the Legislature include a measure called the “middle housing” bill — which would require local single-family zoning, in many cases, to allow multi-family development. 

Another focus: accessory dwelling units, or “ADUs,” secondary dwellings that can be placed on a lot next to a primary home. A bill on lot splitting is also being considered, as are bills to speed up the process for receiving building permits. 

Besides policy bills, there are ideas for legislative budget spending to support the construction of affordable housing — from Gov. Inslee’s proposal to change the state’s debt limit in order to issue $4 billion in housing bonds, to the just-released Senate capital budget, which includes $625 million in housing investments, including $400 million for the state’s Housing Trust Fund. 

That and more on the topic of housing, this week on Inside Olympia.