HB 1923 Building Urban Residential Capacity Grants

2020 funding opportunity is now open. See our Grants page for the application and other materials.

Awards have been made to cities for code changes, housing action plans and sub-area plans. Get the list HERE

Housing Memo Available

The Department of Commerce has released its Housing Memo: Issues Affecting Housing Availability and Affordability to the public. The Memo addresses barriers to to housing production and affordability in Washington, and provides tools aimed at assisting local governments in improving housing affordability. The Memo was requested by the 2017 Legislature’s E2SSB 5254 as part of an update to the Buildable Lands program, and is relevant to cities and counties statewide.

New! – 2019 Housing Laws for Planners

Cities and counties planning under the Growth Management Act (GMA) must include a housing element in their comprehensive plans. The GMA housing goal calls for promoting a variety of residential densities and housing types, encouraging the availability of affordable housing for all economic segments of the population, and preservation of existing housing stock. Countywide planning policies are to consider the need for affordable housing – identified as a regional issue.

Counties and cities develop a housing element ensuring vitality and character of established residential neighborhoods. The housing element must contain at least the following features:

A. An inventory and analysis of existing and projected housing needs that identifies the number of housing units necessary to manage projected growth.

B. A statement of the goals, policies, and objectives for the preservation, improvement, and development of housing, including single-family residences.

C. Identification of sufficient land for housing, including, but not limited to, government-assisted housing, housing for low-income families, manufactured housing, multifamily housing, group homes and foster care facilities.

D. Adequate provisions for existing and projected housing needs of all economic segments of the community.

The GMA also set standards such that certain classes of housing and residents are to be treated equally. This includes housing for the disabled (RCW 36.70A.410), family daycare providers RCW (36.70A.450) and manufactured housing (RCW 35.21.684).


Growth Management Act Housing Goal – RCW 36.70A.020
Growth Management Act Housing Element – RCW 36.70A.070(2) and WAC 365-196-410
Affordable Housing Incentive Programs – RCW 36.70A.540

EZ View Web Site on Housing Affordability
Housing Element Guidebook 2018 Update

Multi-Unit Housing Tax Exemption, ESSHB 1910, 2007

ESSHB 1910 Legislation RCW 84.14
2010 Update of Multi-Unit Housing Tax Incentives Report
Multi-Unit Housing Tax Incentive Program Annual Report Form (DOC)
JLARC 2019 Report on the Multifamily Tax Exemption program