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 Aug. 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. Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown chairs the work group. 

View the Work Group Roster.

Consultant

The department selected a consultant team to help coordinate the work group efforts 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

Meeting #1 – Oct. 25, 2021, 9 to 11:30 a.m. – Meeting documents 
Meeting #2 – Jan. 7, 2022, 9 a.m. to noon – 
Meeting documents 
Meeting #3 – Feb. 24, 2022,
9 a.m. to noon – Meeting documents 
Meeting #4 – Mar. 31, 2022, 9 a.m. to noon 
– Meeting documents
Meeting #5 – Jun. 7, 2022, 9 a.m. to noon