2017 STATE PUBLIC POLICY PRIORITIES

 

Our mission is: Providing strategic leadership in crafting policy and program solutions to affordable housing challenges in Snohomish County

 

Our two goals are:

Goal 1:   To preserve existing affordable housing and affordable housing resources in Snohomish County

Goal 2:   To expand the supply of affordable housing and housing resources in Snohomish County

 

State Level Priorities

  • A significant allocation for the Housing Trust Fund. Safe, stable and affordable housing is the foundation upon which people build better lives: Children do better in school, adults see more employment opportunities and wage progression, and communities prosper. The State Housing Trust Fund is the catalyst for making this happen.
  • Eliminate the sunset on the document recording fees This is a modest fee assessed on certain documents that funds homelessness services throughout Washington State including approximately $4M in Snohomish County. Sixty-two percent of this surcharge is scheduled to sunset in 2019 which would decimate our ability to get people out of homelessness and prevent others from becoming homeless in the first place. Our goal is to eliminate the sunset entirely and make the fees permanent. A secondary goal is to increase the amount of the fees.
  • Exemption of affordable housing from Fire Benefit Charges Because of the public benefit it provides, affordable housing has been exempt from property taxes for many, many years. This bill would extend the same property tax exempt status to Fire Benefit Charge levies. The bill is revenue neutral for fire districts and costs them nothing.
  • Prevent Source of Income Discrimination. This bill would make it illegal for landlords to deny tenancy solely based on the tenant’s source of income, i.e. a Section 8 voucher or other public assistance. A recent, 3 minutes search of apartment rental units turned up six different properties around Snohomish County that clearly stated, “No Section 8”. This kind of discrimination is unacceptable.
  • Protecting the safety net (HEN/ABD) These two programs are perpetually under attack from legislators who want to reduce them and use the funds for other items. Our goal is to keep these program budgets whole at current amounts.