Beyond Seattle, towns all over Washington are seeing double-digit growth in home prices and candidates for the state legislature have taken an interest. Some are calling for changes to the state's Growth Management Act and cuts in other regulations to make it easier to get new homes built along with incentives to get towns to accept higher-density housing.
The issue is gradually moving east to the 12th legislative district, where independent candidate Ann Diamond says her communities also experience housing shortages. The district includes Chelan and Douglas counties, and parts of Grant and Okanogan counties.“In my valley, housing costs are going up three times faster than wages,” says Diamond, who sits on the Winthrop Planning Commission. “People are living in basements, sheds.”
Diamond wants the state to boost the Housing Trust Fund, a state program that helps to build or preserve affordable-housing units. And she wants to find ways to coordinate with real-estate interests and municipalities to increase housing stock. In the 6th District, which includes part of Spokane, Democratic state Senate candidate Jessa Lewis wants to cut property taxes, possibly through a tax on capital gains.Read More