A bill passed on Monday, Mar. 11 by the state Senate would help limit the costs of affordable housing by exempting self-help housing organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, from the state’s real estate excise tax.
The bill passed on a vote of 46 to 2 and now heads to the House for consideration.
Senate Bill 5025, sponsored by Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent), would affect about 30 self-help housing organizations that operate throughout Washington. Annually, these organizations help produce 150 homes.
In this model, home buyers participate in the construction of their new homes.
“These organizations help Washingtonians end the cycle of generational poverty,” Das said. “We have a growing homelessness crisis in our state. And while this bill won’t solve the whole problem, it will help hard-working people own their own homes.”
“This bill is important because providers like Habitat for Humanity are struggling to develop homes that are affordable for our low-income residents due to the rising costs of materials and land,” said Michone Preston, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Washington State. “The savings this bill creates go directly to the goal of affordability. Habitat affiliates and other self-help housing providers in Washington are grateful to Senator Das for her leadership and hard work to make self-help housing possible.”