It's not surprising one of the translations for Wenatchee, derived from the name of the Native American tribe that once resided here, means “robe of the rainbow.” We are privileged to live in such a scenic, beautiful area.
Increasingly, more people are coming to enjoy the many amenities offered in our region. The 12th District, with its natural beauty, abundant recreational opportunities and good quality of life, has become a go-to place for people looking to rent or buy vacation homes. Some of those homes sell for between $750,000 to $1 million (or more).
Although I'm grateful for the economic prosperity they bring to many parts of our district, high-end home sales are driving up costs for residents. Many working professionals, some with young, growing families, are being priced out of the local housing market.
As our communities continue to prosper, it's important working professionals don't get left behind. This vital workforce includes teachers, nurses, office workers, law enforcement professionals, and others, who do much of the work necessary for our communities to exist. They are over-qualified for affordable housing, yet cannot buy the average market-rate home.
The “workforce housing shortage” is an economically critical issue for our district.
That's why I sponsored a bill this session aimed at increasing home affordability for working professionals. House Bill 1938 would create a local infrastructure pilot project to help offset some costs of workforce housing projects. Developers would receive a remittance of 4.37 percent sales or use tax on their infrastructure construction costs, such as sidewalks, water, sewer systems, and gutters. Helping with those costs can make housing construction projects more attractive and affordable for developers. In turn, my bill would require developers to pass that savings on to home buyers.
If you have any questions on this bill or others that I've sponsored this session, please feel free to give me a call. Better yet, if you are planning a trip to Olympia stop by and visit my office. My door is always open.
Thank you for allowing me to represent you in Olympia!