Policy Advisory Team

The Policy Advisory Team (PAT) represents the broad array of interest groups in the low-income housing development community. The team serves as a subcommittee of the Governor’s Affordable Housing Advisory Board (AHAB). Its purpose is to periodically review administrative policies and procedures related to the Housing Trust Fund program and to make recommendations to Commerce and AHAB. Meetings are held quarterly or as determined by the chair and the Multifamily Housing Unit Managing Director. They are open to all interested parties.

Commerce proposes a new advisory committee to center equity in housing

For over 25 years, the Policy Advisory Team (PAT) has provided recommendations and advice on affordable housing policy for Commerce and the Affordable Housing Advisory Board (AHAB). RCW 43.185A.020 requires Commerce to develop and administer its affordable housing program with advice and input from AHAB. Commerce has prioritized making our community feedback more representative of communities most impacted by the housing crisis and discrimination in housing.

Incorporating community members’ voices, particularly centering voices of communities that experience marginalization and discrimination in access to housing, was a priority throughout a consultant-led process, which involved multiple public meetings across 2023. As a result of this process, Commerce recognizes the need to improve engagement holistically and is presenting a proposal that replaces the current PAT.

This proposal focuses on the following strategies to increase the transparency of decision-making by incorporating input from diverse stakeholders with reasonable timelines, presentations and multiple feedback channels. 

  1. Community-Based Housing Advisory Committee – Form a new community-based advisory group centering the voices of the most impacted communities.
  2. Public Forums/Assemblies – Host open public forums without membership restrictions.
  3. Task Forces and Work Groups – As needed, convene work groups to focus on specific policy products or areas.
  4. Agency Partners and Consortia – Offer concrete methods for agency partners, housing consortia, and ex-officio organizations (currently on PAT) to provide their expertise in policy-making. Commerce will reconvene a statewide public funders group as a venue for input and coordination.

Review the full proposal on the Department of Commerce Box.

These activities will redirect engagement that has historically happened through the PAT and offer more equitable, inclusive, and meaningful opportunities to provide feedback and influence policy.

Once finalized, the next steps include establishing a plan to enact the final decision. At a minimum, these steps include updating applications for selection consideration, organizing a nominating committee, and preparing to onboard and orient a new group of individuals to engage in housing policy development. 

Meanwhile, additional engagement processes are scheduled and in development. These were shared at the joint PAT and AHAB meeting and are available in the presentation. These will continue to be shared through our monthly email distribution. 

You can review a summary of the evolution of the proposal over time on the presentation in the Department of Commerce Box (Crosswalk). The full Membership Working Committee Process is also available in the PAT Membership Working Group.


Meeting Dates

Meetings typically run from 9:30 a.m. to noon. 

  • Oct. 3, 2023, PAT Meeting in-person (Tacoma alongside Housing Washington, conference registration not required, view agenda here)
  • Oct. 24, 2023, at 1 pm, Special PAT meeting regarding membership (Register now)
  • No PAT meeting on Dec. 5, 2023

PAT Meeting and Working Group Documents (on Box)