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Legislators Target Affordable Housing Crisis With Special Housing Districts


The House Finance Committee heard public testimony on Substitute House Bill 1880, which would create housing benefit districts,


SHB 1880 – 2021-22

Bill Information: Concerning housing benefit districts.Bill Information Page (link)
Sponsors: Ryu, Pollet, Hackney, Valdez
Status: Public hearing held in the House Committee on Finance Friday, February 4 at 8:00 AM.

Committee Materials

Full Senate Bill Report
Bill Analysis

The bill analysis and bill report are prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Authorizes certain cities to establish a housing benefit district (district) for affordable housing and community development projects.
  • Allows cities with a district to impose local sales and use tax not to exceed .025 percent.
  • Establishes a housing benefit district advisory board (advisory board) to provide oversight and technical assistance to the districts.

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Summary of Substitute Bill

The legislative authority of a city meeting location and population criteria may establish a housing benefit district (district) for the purpose of acquiring, land banking, redevelopment contracting, selling, improving, funding, and leasing land for the creation of affordable low-income, and middle-income housing and community development projects consistent with existing housing plans. The boundaries of the district are coextensive with the city’s boundaries, and the city’s legislative authority serves as the governing body.


Affordable housing means residential housing for which the monthly costs, including utilities
other than telephone, do not exceed 30 percent of the monthly income.

Special Purpose Districts
A special purpose district (SPD) is a limited purpose local government separate from a city, town, or county government. The SPDs provide a limited number of public facilities or services, depending on the particular purpose for which the district was created. The SPDs are generally created through the county or city legislative authority to meet a specific need of the local community.

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