State of Washington
68th Legislature
2023 Regular Session
ByRepresentatives Pollet, Farivar, Chopp, Alvarado, Macri, Doglio, Ramel, Reed, Fosse, and Street
Read first time 01/26/23.Referred to Committee on Housing.
AN ACT Relating to enabling local governments to plan and adopt programs to stabilize and control rents; creating a new section; and repealing RCW 35.21.830 and 36.01.130.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. The legislature finds that the prohibitions on cities and counties from adopting policies and ordinances to stabilize rents and provide renters with the ability to plan for housing security harms community health and has contributed to crisis levels of homelessness and community displacement. Forty percent of residents in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan statistical area paid over 30 percent of their income in rent in 2022, and 20 percent paid over half of their income in rent. Rents in the greater Seattle area skyrocketed by 69 percent between 2010 and 2018. In total, rents have gone up 255 percent in the two decades from 1998 to 2018. Rent increases at similar levels have occurred statewide and continue. The legislature finds that senior residents and others on fixed and lower incomes are increasingly displaced and unable to plan for housing security due to the local lack of authority to adopt innovative programs to provide rent security and stabilization.
The legislature further finds that it directed all cities and counties planning under the growth management act to plan for housing affordable to all economic segments of their community. However, the legislature finds that barring cities and counties from adopting rent control or stabilization programs undermines this important planning goal. The legislature further finds that city and county councils are best suited to determine if rent stabilization programs should be adopted in their jurisdiction and to design such programs based on their community's unique circumstances.
Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to repeal prohibitions on rent control and stabilization, which will allow cities and counties to develop programs that reflect their local housing needs and create housing security for all economic segments in their community.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2. The following acts or parts of acts are each repealed:
(1) RCW 35.21.830 (Controls on rent for residential structuresProhibitedExceptions) and 1981 c 75 s 1; and
(2) RCW 36.01.130 (Controls on rent for residential structuresProhibitedExceptions) and 1991 c 363 s 43 & 1981 c 75 s 2.
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