State of Washington
68th Legislature
2023 Regular Session
BySenators Frame, Gildon, Cleveland, Fortunato, Keiser, Kuderer, Liias, Lovelett, Mullet, Nguyen, Nobles, Shewmake, Valdez, and C. Wilson
Read first time 02/02/23.Referred to Committee on Housing.
AN ACT Relating to defining affordable housing for purposes of using surplus public property for public benefit; and amending RCW 39.33.015.
Sec. 1. RCW 39.33.015 and 2018 c 217 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Any state agency, municipality, or political subdivision, with authority to dispose of surplus public property, may transfer, lease, or ((other disposal))otherwise dispose of such property for a public benefit purpose, consistent with and subject to this section. Any such transfer, lease, or other disposal may be made to a public, private, or nongovernmental body on any mutually agreeable terms and conditions, including a no cost transfer, subject to and consistent with this section. Consideration must include appraisal costs, debt service, all closing costs, and any other liabilities to the agency, municipality, or political subdivision. However, the property may not be so transferred, leased, or disposed of if such transfer, lease, or disposal would violate any bond covenant or encumber or impair any contract.
(2) A deed, lease, or other instrument transferring or conveying property pursuant to subsection (1) of this section must include:
(a) A covenant or other requirement that the property shall be used for the designated public benefit purpose; and
(b) Remedies that apply if the recipient of the property fails to use it for the designated public purpose or ceases to use it for such purpose.
(3) To implement the authority granted by this section, the governing body or legislative authority of a municipality or political subdivision must enact rules to regulate the disposition of property for public benefit purposes. Any transfer, lease, or other disposition of property authorized under this section must be consistent with existing locally adopted comprehensive plans as described in RCW 36.70A.070.
(4) This section is deemed to provide a discretionary alternative method for the doing of the things authorized herein, and shall not be construed as imposing any additional condition upon the exercise of any other powers vested in any state agency, municipality, or political subdivision.
(5) No transfer, lease, or other disposition of property for public benefit purposes made pursuant to any other provision of law prior to June 7, 2018, may be construed to be invalid solely because the parties thereto did not comply with the procedures of this section.
(6) The transfer at no cost, lease, or other disposal of surplus real property for public benefit purposes is deemed a lawful purpose of any state agency, municipality, or political subdivision, for which accounts are kept on an enterprise fund or equivalent basis, regardless of the primary purpose or function of such agency.
(7) This section does not apply to the sale or transfer of any state forestlands, any state lands or property granted to the state by the federal government for the purposes of common schools or education, or subject to a legal restriction that would be violated by compliance with this section.
(8) For purposes of this section:
(a) "Affordable housing" means:
(i) For rental housing, 30 percent of the household's monthly income for rent and utilities, other than telephone; or
(ii) For permanently affordable homeownership, 38 percent of the household's monthly income for mortgage principal, interest, property taxes, homeowner's insurance, homeowner's association fees, and land lease fees, as applicable. In addition, total household debt is no more than 45 percent of the monthly household income;
(b) "Public benefit" means affordable housing, which can be rental housing or permanently affordable homeownership for low-income and very low-income households as defined in RCW 43.63A.510, and related facilities that support the goals of affordable housing development in providing economic and social stability for low-income persons; and
(((b)))(c) "Surplus public property" means excess real property that is not required for the needs of or the discharge of the responsibilities of the state agency, municipality, or political subdivision.
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