Rep. Klicker bill to increase affordable housing supply unanimously passes the Senate

A new bill from Rep. Mark Klicker, one of many solutions offered this session to increase affordable housing in the state, is one step away from the governor’s desk.

The Senate passed House Bill 1293 on Tuesday, which would streamline regulations and the permitting process for housing development in urban growth areas.

The bill would require cities and counties planning under the Growth Management Act to ensure their design review process is clear and objective.

“We all know there is a housing shortage in Washington, and we came into this session needing real solutions to help relieve that problem,” said Klicker, R-Walla Walla. “We need to move the needle in the building industry. And we can do that by cutting regulations and expediting and streamlining the permitting process.”

HB 1293 would cut through red tape by providing exemptions for residential projects within an Urban Growth Area from some environmental considerations if certain conditions are met. The legislation would also require the review process to be expedited by limiting the number of public hearings during the design review process. Lastly, the bill would integrate the consolidated review and design process to streamline and ease the overall approval process.

“It’s time to move past partisan policies. This bipartisan policy is the perfect example of working together for the benefit of all Washingtonians,” added Klicker, who is the top-ranking Republican member on the Housing Committee.

“This legislation would remove obstacles for many developers and allow them to move forward with the building process instead of waiting for months for design approval on buildings that are otherwise ready to start.”

The bill was amended in committee, so the House must approve the changes before it goes to the governor.

The 2023 legislative session ends on April 23.


Washington State House Republican Communications