Uniting for Affordable Housing: Washington REALTORS® and Issues Mobilization Grants Making a Difference
Uniting for Affordable Housing: Washington REALTORS® and Issues Mobilization Grants Making a DifferenceEarlier this year, Washington REALTORS® orchestrated an exceptional legislative session that is paving the way for a brighter housing future in the state. With majority efforts spearheaded by President Alisha Harrison and Vice President of Government Affairs Cheryl O’Brien, Washington REALTORS® and the Government Affairs team embarked on their 'Welcome Home' campaign with a clear mission: to improve housing inventory and affordability for all. Thanks to their dedication, hard work, and the support of an Issues Mobilization Grant, the industry is seeing a new wave of optimism for REALTORS®, homeowners, and prospective buyers alike.
Big Wins This Session
Just one of WR®'s major wins this session was the 'Right to Cure' Bill. This bill will allow developers to correct and address building defects in condominiums before the consumer can sue, aimed at protecting the supply of affordable housing and encouraging developers to continue business as usual.
Legislation was passed to address Accessory Dwelling Units and 'Missing Middle’ Housing. Homeowners across urban jurisdictions are now able to build up to two accessory dwelling units on their property, providing additional housing options and rental income opportunities for the homeowner. Additionally, the approval of duplexes and triplexes in single-family zones will expand housing inventory, making homeownership more accessible, especially for those who find themselves in the 'Missing Middle'.
Another lofty goal this year included passing legislation to streamline the permitting process. Ultimately, three separate bills were passed, significantly reducing long waiting periods, and eliminating potential obstacles. This streamlined approach will foster faster and more efficient construction, ensuring new homes enter the market promptly to meet growing demand.
And finally, defending homeowners from higher taxes was a main focus of the Washington REALTORS® this year. WR successfully thwarted a concerning challenge with proposed increases in the state and local portions of the Washington State Real Estate Excise Tax. With the support of an Issues Mobilization Grant and a vigorous public campaign, Washington REALTORS® rallied members into action to oppose this increase.
This 'call to action' effort generated a flood of phone calls to legislative offices, effectively conveying WR's stance against the tax increase. WR's united front, along with the backing of the National Association of REALTORS® through this grant, proved instrumental in defeating the proposed tax hike.
To Sum it Up
Washington REALTORS® success in promoting pro-housing legislation and fending off the real estate excise tax increase stands as a testament to our dedication to REALTORS®, homeowners, and prospective buyers alike. With the visionary 'Welcome Home' campaign and support of an Issues Mobilization Grant, WR has facilitated easier housing construction and taken vital steps towards ensuring homeownership remains within reach for countless Washingtonians.
Read more about Issues Mobilization Grants Here.