Letter to the Editor: Much-needed Affordable Housing

Thursday, March 23, 2023

To the Editor:

HB 1110, a bill to Increase middle housing in areas traditionally dedicated to single-family detached housing, has passed the State House of Representatives and is now being considered by the Senate.

It will override most local zoning/building codes, with the goal of providing "affordable housing."

However, no truly "affordable" housing is required by this bill.

The HUD 2021 median income for King County was $106,326. Using the formula in HB 1110, where housing costs (including utilities other than phone) should not exceed 30% of:

  • 80% of the median income for a homeowner, or $2,127 per month; or
  • 60% of the median income for a renter, or $1,595 per month. A renter earning a wage of $20 an hour for a 40-hour week, or $3,440 gross per month, is using 46% of that monthly income on housing. This is not affordable.

HB 1110 explains, "To unlock opportunity for Washingtonians it is necessary to lift bans on the development of modest home choices in cities near job centers, transit, and amenity-rich neighborhoods." 

It includes definitions for "Low-income household" and "Extremely low-income household," yet nowhere does it require that anything besides "affordable housing" be built, and the "affordable housing" is optional. 

There is no mandate for it. Will developers provide “affordable ownership” opportunities, or will our cities be filled with more townhouses selling at upwards of $600,000 and $700,000, and more? This bill needs to be amended for those of us seeking “affordable housing” and "affordable ownership".

You can read the entire bill here:

You can comment on HB 1110 here:

Jonelle Kemmerling
Shoreline, WA


Anonymous,  March 23, 2023 at 9:06 PM  

Thank you for this letter. The bill is truly a 'bait and switch' as others have called it.

Anonymous,  March 24, 2023 at 3:27 AM  

Thanks Jonelle. Message to my legislators opposing this bill has been sent!

Dale,  March 24, 2023 at 11:36 AM  

And I recently read that single family houses have become attractive to foreign investors who buy one house so that they can develop the lot and reap the profits.

Kathleen Russell,  March 26, 2023 at 1:15 PM  

In HB 1110 (middle housing), which is now before the Senate Ways & Means, there is no requirement or mandate for "affordable housing". This bill removes State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review. If this bill passes, housing development will be under state regulations instead of local government. This bill can still be amended by Senators.

Post a Comment

We encourage the thoughtful sharing of information and ideas. We expect comments to be civil and respectful, with no personal attacks or offensive language. We reserve the right to delete any comment.

Facebook: Shoreline Area News
Twitter: @ShorelineArea
Daily Email edition (don't forget to respond to the Follow.it email)

  © Blogger template The Professional Template II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP