Homeownership Disparities Work Group

In the 2021-23 Operating Budget, the Legislature tasked the Department of Commerce with convening a diverse homeownership-focused work group to “assess perspectives on housing and lending laws, policies, and practices; facilitate discussion among interested parties; and develop budgetary, administrative policy, and legislative recommendations.” 

The department is required to submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature by August 1, 2022, that will:

  • Evaluate the distribution of state affordable housing funds and its impact on the creation of homeownership units serving Black, indigenous, and people of color;
  • Evaluate the eligibility requirements, access, and use of state-funded down payment assistance funds, and their impact on homeownership rate disparities;
  • Review barriers preventing Black, indigenous, and people of color from accessing credit and loans through traditional banks for residential loans; and
  • Provide budgetary, administrative policy, and legislative recommendations to increase ownership unit development and access to credit.  (ESSB 5092, Sec 129 (100), Laws of 2021)

Work Group Members

The department selected a diverse group of people representing the many perspectives and backgrounds of our homeownership community. The work group will be chaired by Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown. The first kick-off meeting is set for Oct. 25. 

View the Work Group Roster.


The department selected a consultant team to help coordinate the work group work and draft the legislative report. ECONorthwest, in collaboration with BDS Planning & Urban Design, will lead this important work, which will include gathering data, conducting analysis, organizing and facilitating the work group discussions, and ultimately producing a report with recommendations to the Legislature for reducing racial disparities in Washington’s homeownership rates.

Work Group Meetings

Oct. 25, 2021 Meeting documents