SPOKANE, Wash. — It's not the first time the Washington legislature has tried to remedy the state's missing "middle-housing" situation.
In 2022, a bill aimed at adding more multi-family homes in cities of 20,000 or more failed to make it through the state legislature. Now, a revised version of that measure is getting some attention.
This year's version would require cities with 6,000 or more residents to allow the development of more multi-family homes. This means neighborhoods usually reserved for single-family homes would have to open up for duplexes, tri-plexes, and four-plexes.
According to lawmakers, the bill is an effort to combat the state's housing crisis.
Spokane is already six months ahead.
"Council decided to do it city-wide to ensure everybody had the opportunity to live in every neighborhood," Spokane City Councilmember Zack Zappone testified to the House Housing Committee last week.
In July, Spokane's city council voted to allow four-plexes everywhere.
Zappone said he supports the House bill, hoping it means the rest of the state will follow suit.
"We need it because housing is a regional crisis," Zappone said. "Spokane can't do this alone."
Opponents say the local government should be left to decide its own zoning.
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