News Release: Builders applaud bi-partisan approach to housing, renew call to remove barriers to building new homes
February 1, 2023
OLYMPIA… As one of the nation’s largest home-building associations with roughly 8,000 members, the Building Industry Association of Washington applauded efforts announced by state lawmakers today to address the state’s housing crisis while renewing calls for reforms to reduce unnecessary barriers to homebuilding.
“In the last 30 years, the population in Washington increased by 60%,” said BIAW Executive Vice President Greg Lane. “During that same time period, the state has only increased the number of housing units available by 33 percent. The state ranks near dead last when it comes to per capita housing supply. It’s time to reduce the barriers preventing builders from providing the homes Washington families want and need.”
Reduce unnecessary barriers
Prior to the legislative session, the Building Industry Association of Washington identified several ways to remove barriers to new home construction and remodeling to help address the state’s housing shortage.
In the 2023 legislative session, builders are supporting measures to streamline permitting processes, hold local government more responsible for meeting deadlines and incentivize local jurisdictions for issuing more permits in a timely manner.
“Permit delays add more than $31,000 to the cost of new homes in Washington,” Lane said. “Our builders are working with their local jurisdictions on solutions while we work this issue at the state level. Permit reform is a top priority for us and we appreciate the efforts by this bipartisan coalition to address this problem so more families can find homes they can afford.”
Build more homes
BIAW also thanked legislators for recognizing the daunting deficit of available homes for families to purchase. The association supports both the Legislature’s efforts to address the need for middle housing as well as its focus on transit-oriented development.
“BIAW supports the need for homes of all kinds and sizes across the state to address our housing crisis,” Lane said. “We’re willing to work with anyone ready to help us build more homes for the families of Washington.”
This legislative session, BIAW is supporting the following bi-partisan bills to improve housing availability and affordability for Washington families:
- HB 1026 – Replacing unelected design review boards with administrative design reviews by local government employees to break down unnecessary barriers during the design phase of a housing project.
- HB 1110/SB 5190 – Increasing middle housing in areas traditionally dedicated to single-family detached housing.
- HB 1245 /SB 5364 – Increasing housing options through lot splitting.
- HB 1252 /HB 1468 – Impact fee deferrals.
- HB 1296 / SB 5290 – Concerning consolidating local permit review processes.
- HB 1449 – Amending reporting requirements for the project permit application processing timeline.
- HB 1519 – Concerning local project review.
- SB 5058 — Exempting buildings with 12 or fewer units that are no more than two stories from the definition of a multi-unit residential building.
- SB 5258 – Increasing the supply and affordability of condominium units and townhouses as an option for homeownership.
- SB 5412 – Reducing local governments’ land use permitting workloads.
- SB 5473 – Permit reporting and permit timeline.
- SB 5609 – Establishing housing approval requirements that will eliminate Washington’s housing shortage.
- SB 5466 /HB 1517 – Promoting transit-oriented development.
Watch the legislators’ news conference:
The Building Industry Association of Washington is the voice of the housing industry. The state’s largest trade association with nearly 8,000 member companies, BIAW promotes and protects the vitality of the building industry so more Washington families can enjoy the American Dream of owning a home. Learn more at: www.biaw.com