In the Legislature: Bill to increase housing near transportation centers passes State Senate

State Sen. Marko Liias

A bill aimed at allowing more housing near transit centers passed the Washington State Senate on a bipartisan 40-8 vote Wednesday.

Senate Bill 5466, sponsored by 21st District State Sen. Marko Liias, provides development targets near light rail and bus rapid transit stations.

According to a press release from the Washington State Senate Democrats, the Urban Institute predicts that the approach in this legislation will create nearly one million new housing units close to frequent transit services, addressing what he describes as a massive housing shortage in the state.

Liias also said that SB 5466 works in tandem with other legislation to increase housing opportunities across the state, such as efforts to diversify housing supply through changes to current zoning laws.

“As we continue to invest in transportation services across the state, it’s important that more of our neighbors are connected to the routes that will make their commutes easier,” said Liias. “By building more housing near transit centers, we can shorten commute times, decrease carbon emissions, increase housing supply, and create more opportunity for communities statewide.”

The Move Ahead Washington transportation package passed last session invested $3 billion in public transportation – the largest investment in state history. Increasing housing opportunities will further leverage this funding by ensuring more Washingtonians can access public transportation, Liias said.

The bill will now move to the House for consideration.


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