State HBAs Take on Housing Affordability During Legislative Sessions

Housing Affordability
Published
Contact: Karl Eckhart
keckhart@nahb.org
(202) 266-8319

HBAs are working with state lawmakers and governors to reduce building costs, boost the supply of homes, and empower home buyers with a mix of housing choices. As the new year kicks off, many state legislatures are in session, and HBA leaders are making inroads with lawmakers. States such as Washington and Virginia recently secured legislative wins to improve housing affordability.

Increasing Housing Production in Oregon

Oregon Home Builders Association (OHBA) members Deb Flagan, Natalie Janney, Eric Olsen and Justin Wood serve on Gov. Tina Kotek’s Housing Production Advisory Council. OHBA says the council has been working diligently over the last several months to provide long-term strategies for quickly increasing housing production across the state.

During this legislative session, OHBA is championing Senate Bill 1537. If passed, the bill will increase the number of available homes and reduce housing prices for residents. According to OHBA, the state must increase the production of housing units by up to 80% of the current construction trend to meet future housing needs.

Increasing homeownership is a top priority for the association and Oregonians, who said in a recent poll that housing affordability and homelessness are serious problems that the legislature must address.

Building Missing Middle Housing in Washington State

During the 2023 legislative session, the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) passed pro-housing and pro-business legislation, and defeated efforts that threatened to drive up the costs of buying or remodeling a home. One of BIAW’s achievements was adding flexibility to zoning requirements.

Middle housing legislation supported by BIAW allows property owners more flexibility on their land. It requires local governments to recognize zero-lot-line subdivisions, ensuring new housing built under this law can and will be ownership units. BIAW also passed legislation expanding housing options by easing barriers to constructing and using accessory dwelling units.

Improving Land Development in Virginia

The HBA of Virginia achieved several victories in the state legislature in the past several years that reduced the barriers to residential economic development. One of the association’s recent achievements was the establishment of the Virginia Residential Sites and Structures Locator. The database will assist residential developers and builders in identifying new development opportunities and help localities promote available land or structures suitable for residential or mixed-use development.

NAHB’s State and Local Government Affairs team can provide HBAs with funding, economic data and best practices for improving housing affordability in your community. Contact Karl Eckhart for more information.

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