Rep. Sam Low’s affordable workforce housing bill, a priority for Skagit County commissioners, signed into law

Governor Jay Inslee has signed into law a bill sponsored by Rep. Sam Low, R-Lake Stevens, aimed at addressing the critical need for affordable workforce housing in Washington’s rural counties.

House Bill 1987 builds upon previous legislation enacted in 2022, which initially expanded the permitted uses of the rural public facilities sales and use tax to include affordable workforce housing infrastructure and facilities. Low’s bill clarifies language and separates affordable workforce housing from the broader category of public facilities, ensuring a more targeted approach to addressing housing needs in rural areas.

Low says the goal of his bill is to enable rural counties to leverage these funds according to their unique needs.

“The signing of this bill marks a significant development in our ongoing efforts to address housing availability and affordability challenges in rural areas,” said Low. “Empowering rural counties to develop affordable workforce housing infrastructure will help break down barriers to economic mobility, lay the foundation for more investment in rural communities, and facilitate sustainable growth for years to come.”

The legislation comes at a critical time as many rural counties, including Skagit, are experiencing heightened demand for affordable workforce housing options. With the county facing the lowest housing vacancy rate in the state, House Bill 1987 was a top priority for the Skagit County Board of Commissioners this session.

“I want to extend my sincere appreciation to our three Skagit County commissioners for working with me in getting House Bill 1987 to the governor’s desk this session,” added Low. “We have much more to do, but the success of this bill underscores the importance of collaboration between state and local governments to enact positive change. Working together, we will continue taking meaningful steps toward providing affordable housing options and spurring economic growth in our district.”

House Bill 1987, which received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and Senate, will go into effect on June 6.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov