State Surplus Program
The rising cost of land in Washington State makes affordable housing construction a challenge for developers. One solution to this issue is to use land designated surplus by state agencies to reduce acquisition costs. Each year, this program reports state surplus land that is available for lease. The program encourages the effective use of state lands for affordable housing development.
Where are State Surplus Properties Located?
Surplus lands owned by the state are located all across Washington. In 2021 there were 47 parcels in 25 counties. However, some of these properties are better suited for affordable housing development than others. Suitability includes factors like residential zoning and a lot big enough for construction. This inventory map displays the location and property information for each surplus parcel. Each location marker includes:
- Contact information for the state agency that manages the property
- Suitability reports
- County Assessor’s parcel information
- Approximate lot size
- Land use designation
- Zoning classification
Map users can zoom in to see the parcel boundaries, transit routes and transit stops. This map also displays census tracts that are eligible for federal low income housing tax credit and Opportunity Zone programs. Users can also view a larger version of the map in a different browser window.
Property data was collected from state agencies required to report to this program (RCW 43.63A.510) and publicly available data sources. All property data collected in the suitability reports are expressly provided “as is” and “with all faults.” Suitability reports are not, and are not intended for use as, a surveyed product. These reports do not purport to identify actual slope hazards or existing environmental risks at individual sites. These are factors identified by state and or federal agencies and local planning departments. Consultation with local planning departments would be necessary to reconcile any errors, omissions or inaccuracies in data presented in these reports.
Since 1993, Commerce has worked to provide an annual inventory of surplus real estate that is available for sale, lease, or transfer. This program encourages effective use of these lands for housing that is affordable for very low to moderate income households. In 2018, 3SHB 2382 revised the list of agencies that report their surplus real estate to Commerce by November 1 each year. These agencies are:
- Department of Enterprise Services
- Department of Corrections
- Department of Natural Resources
- Department of Social and Health Services
- State Parks and Recreation Commission
- Washington State Patrol
First, Commerce consolidates the surplus lands reported by these agencies. Then each property is evaluated for its development suitability. Commerce must consider the property location, lot size, land use designation, and zoning. By December 1 of each year, Commerce issues a report with recommendations about the properties to the Office of Financial Management and the Legislature.