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From Don Fornoff, Bishop’s Task Force on Homelessness:

The news from Olympia is mixed. HB 2114 has moved forward into House Rules, where it needs approval to be sent to the floor. Companion bill SB 5961 did not advance. So, the House must pass HB 2114 so it can move out of the chamber of origin and be considered again in the Senate. HB 2114 advanced with several amendments but is still a strong bill protecting tenants from predatory renter practices. As the Task Force has emphasized many times before, keeping people in their residences hugely reduces the pressure on increased homelessness and costs and all the effects on our communities. Please stay in touch with your representatives.

I do wish to point out that advocacy works. Over 500 tenants and advocates turned out on Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day to push forward these important bills. That’s quite good support, and it shows how important housing issues are to the people of Washington. I might add that this support ran up against the usual well-funded real estate and renter coalitions and came out in good shape on HB 2114. So now the need is to keep up the pressure.

Two other bills to advocate for are HB 2276 and SB 6191, which relate to a permanent source of affordable housing. These bills are not subject to the February 5 cut-off since they are considered necessary to implement the budget. Please consider support of these bills as they represent multi-year efforts to improve housing for all in Washington State.

Other bills to consider include HB 2126, relating to accessory units in rural areas, which is on the House floor. HB 1998 and SB 5901, relating to co-living housing, are now on the House floor to be scheduled for a vote.

Can I implore you all, dear readers, to follow up with your representatives to ensure they support the folks we support- the housing insecure and the unhoused? See into your faith to do so.

Updates from the Bishop’s Task Force on Homelessness

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