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CALL TO ACTION: Help Promote Two Important Housing Policies

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Call to Action: Help Promote Two Important Housing Policies

Dear [Decision Maker],

As the 2017 Legislature resolves the state budget and McCleary education funding issue, REALTORS® request that critical housing policy issues also be addressed. Both urban and rural areas of Washington are facing a housing crisis that only the Legislature can solve.

In rural areas, the Supreme Court's Hirst water rights decision concluded that the Growth Management Act requires counties to restrict water use in rural areas even if the proposed water use is consistent with the Department of Ecology's rules. The GMA has no such requirements. SB 5239 would enable landowners and local governments to use water that is consistent with Ecology's regulations, restoring the correct relationship between the state and local government on water resource issues. Thousands of landowners will face catastrophic economic consequences unless the Legislature resolves this problem in 2017.

In many of Washington's urban areas, available housing inventory is at an all-time low and prices at all-time highs. These market conditions impact both buyers and renters, and also the homeless. SB 5254 improves the GMA's Buildable Lands Report process to better determine the adequacy of buildable lands inside designated Urban Growth Areas. The bill also extends the $40 document recording surcharge that funds local homeless programs for 10 years, the longest fee extension in the history of the program, and allows use of local Real Estate Excise Tax for construction of homeless housing.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss these important housing issues.

Thank you for your time,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]

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