Housing & Homelessness
Housing and rent prices continue to rise faster than wages can keep up, and more and more families are spending up to half of their income on housing costs. This puts people at greater risk of falling into homelessness, especially seniors, people with disabilities, and low-wage workers. Our businesses struggle to grow when families have so little left over after housing costs. The housing affordability crisis affects families across Thurston County, and requires a multi-faceted solution. As a proven coalition-builder to help address Thurston County’s housing needs, I am ready to act now for a comprehensive approach.
To address the housing crisis, we must increase housing options, provide assistance to prevent families from falling into homelessness, and strengthen protections for renters. We need to create abundant housing by investing in the Housing Trust Fund, increasing opportunities for first time home buyers, and increasing housing options for working families and low-income renters. We need increased funding for supportive housing and renter protections to prevent folks from losing their homes because of temporary setbacks. We also need to allow greener, less expensive homes in transit and job corridors.Washington is experiencing a perilous housing shortage. In Thurston County home prices have increased almost twenty percent in the last year with the median home price now reaching an exorbitant $507,000. I will continue fighting to ensure everyone in Washington has access to abundant and affordable housing. In my first term I sponsored legislation to re-legalize modest home choices (like duplexes, triplexes, & fourplexes), incentives for cities to increase these home types, a property tax exemption for limited equity housing cooperatives, the expansion of an advisory committee on permanent supportive housing and expansion of the state's Apple Health and Community Homes Program.