Serving Franklin County, WA

Committee advances two Padden bills

OLYMPIA – The House Housing Committee has moved forward two bills introduced by 4th District Sen. Mike Padden, aiming to bolster home ownership and streamline property leasing in Washington.

The committee approved Senate Bill 5792, which seeks to facilitate the construction of smaller condominium buildings, excluding those with 12 or fewer units and no more than three stories high from the definition of "multiunit residential building," provided one story is designated for above- or below-ground parking or retail space.

"This bill builds on last year's successful measure to expand housing options for Washington's middle class," remarked Padden, R-Spokane Valley. "Condominiums offer an affordable avenue to homeownership for first-time buyers."

Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley

During a public hearing last week, Spokane Valley Mayor Pam Haley voiced support for SB 5792, alongside a representative from the Building Industry Association of Washington. Earlier in the session, Spokane City Council President Betsy Wilkerson also testified in favor of the bill.

Last year, Padden's Senate Bill 5058 established exemptions for buildings with 12 or fewer units, limited to two stories high, from the definition of "multiunit residential building."

Padden anticipates that the combination of last year's law and this year's new bill will promote increased homeownership in the state.

"Washington faces one of the nation's lower homeownership rates, and both last year's legislation and this year's bill can help address this issue," stated Padden. "These smaller condominiums would adhere to the same building requirements as townhouses or single-family homes."

The House Housing Committee also approved Senate Bill 5840, Padden's proposal aimed at simplifying the property leasing process-a change endorsed by the Washington State Bar Association to align Washington with other states.

"Washington is one of the few states that requires commercial leases over a year to be notarized," noted Padden. "Many legal documents do not require notarization. By removing the notary requirement, these transactions will be somewhat easier."


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