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Increasing Washington State’s Residential Development Capacity

In recent years, the Washington legislature has enacted significant legislation intended to increase capacity for residential development in urban areas and thereby make housing more affordable. It is well understood that unnecessarily restrictive regulatory constraints are among the key factors leading to the inadequate supply and high cost of housing. This legislation directly targets these kinds of constraints.

A new report from the Washington Center for Real Estate Research focuses on the impacts of two key pieces of legislation: HB 1923 and HB 2343, enacted in 2019 and 2020, respectively. These provided grants to help municipalities develop and implement housing action plans intended to identify potential actions, including code changes, to enhance residential building capacity. Based on surveys of municipalities and administrative data from the Washington Department of Commerce, the report concludes that some 64% of grant recipients have adopted various types of code changes intended to facilitate the development of affordable housing.

The report can be found here: