SB 6560

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As of February 5, 2020

Title: An act relating to studying the feasibility of postsecondary student housing within retirement facilities.

Brief Description: Studying the feasibility of postsecondary student housing within retirement facilities.

Sponsors: Senators Wilson, C., Hunt, Salomon, Saldaña, Liias, Randall, Nguyen, Van De Wege, Das, Hasegawa and Kuderer.

Brief History:

Committee Activity: Higher Education & Workforce Development: 2/04/20.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Requires the Washington Student Achievement Council to study the feasibility of developing a pilot program that would provide postsecondary student housing within retirement facilities.


Staff: Kellee Gunn (786-7429)

Background: There are six public baccalaureate institutions in Washington state and 34 community and technical colleges (CTCs). Students at the public baccalaureate institutions generally have the option of living in university-recognized housing on or off campus. These recognized housing options include residence halls, sororities, fraternities, co-ops, and apartments. At present, 16 CTCs offer campus housing.

Intergenerational  Housing  Programs. In 2012, a program was developed in Deventer, Netherlands to provide university students housing within a local retirement facility in exchange for a certain number of volunteer hours per month.  Similar programs have been established in Lyons, France, Cleveland, Ohio, and other cities in the Netherlands.

Summary of Bill: The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) must study the feasibility of developing a pilot program that would provide postsecondary students housing within a retirement facility. In developing the program, WSAC must consider:

By December 1, 2020, WSAC must submit to the appropriate higher education committees of the Legislature a report of the study's findings with recommendations on the development of the pilot program.

Retirement facilities includes nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care providers as determined by WSAC.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on February 2, 2020.

Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: One of the conversations this committee and the legislature has been having is about homelessness, housing scarcity, and affordability. This bill creates a pilot program to house students in retirement facilities. This is about multi-generational housing. Young people may provide the elderly inspiration to live and engage with life. This allows existing space to be filled and will meet the needs of young people. In the Netherlands, students give 30 hours a month in exchange for their housing. The students become a part of that community. This may benefit students who are, or may become, interested in working with geriatric populations. There are many goals that could be achieved with this bill. We need to find unique ways to solve homelessness. Many dormitories are maxed out, and this is a unique way to provide housing. Communities that have done this, like the those in the Netherlands, have seen great success.

The concept of intergenerational housing is something our organization has long supported. In 2017, Leading Age looked at intergenerational programs and saw that they decreased isolation and increased self-esteem and sense of community. This program could address housing challenges and inspire the future generation to work with geriatric populations. We request that affordable senior housing be added to the definition of retirement facilities.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Claire Wilson, Prime Sponsor; Charles Adkins, Vice-President of Federal Affairs, Washington Student Association; Alyssa Odegaard, LeadingAge Washington.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.