State Surplus Program

Since 1993, the Department of Commerce has worked with designated state agencies to provide an annual inventory of real property that is state-owned and available for lease. The purpose of this inventory is to encourage effective use of surplus property for the development of affordable housing.

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In many Washington communities, the rising cost of land and construction restricts the ability of affordable housing providers to develop housing for people with low incomes.

Background

In 2018, 3SHB 2382 amended RCW 43.63A.510 to revise the list of agencies required to report their vacant properties to Commerce. State agencies now designated to report surplus properties to Commerce by Nov. 1 each year are:

  •   Department of Natural Resources
  •   Department of Social and Health Services
  •   Department of Corrections
  •   Department of Enterprise Services
  •   Washington State Patrol
  •   State Parks and Recreation Commission

Commerce works with the designated agencies to identify, catalog, and recommend the best use of under-utilized, state-owned land and property suitable for the development of affordable housing for very low-income, low-income or moderate-income households.

The designated agencies must provide an inventory of real property that is owned or administered by each agency and is vacant or available for lease or sale. Commerce must determine whether the properties are suitable for consideration in affordable housing development. In making this determination, Commerce must consider location, approximate lot size, current land use designation, and current zoning classification of the property.  Commerce issues a report and recommendations about the properties to the Office of Financial Management and the Legislature by December 1 of each year.