Here is the testimony Chris Ferguson submitted to the Housing Committee of the Washington State House, on one of our closely watched housing bills, as well as on SB 5190, its Senate companion:
Quaker Voice on Washington Public Policy urges advancement of HB 1110. This vital legislation will foster more vibrant communities where all people can afford to purchase or rent, where easy transportation between work and home is more readily available, and where our neighborhoods are more economically and racially diverse.
In too many cities across the state, Washingtonians cannot find such housing in their communities. The cost of housing nearly everywhere is skyrocketing, so-called “middle housing” that is affordable has been disappearing, and gentrification of lower income neighborhoods is contributing to homelessness and increased racial disparities in household wealth and home ownership. Creation of affordable housing for all thus becomes a moral issue as well.
HB 1110 also enables us to more readily regard housing as a public good, a resource — on the order of water, electricity, transportation, and education – necessary for viable, dynamic communities that serve the common good, enable all households to flourish, and assist all people in becoming all they can be.
For these reasons Quaker Voice on Washington Public Policy supports this bill and urges your advancement of it to the next step in the legislative process.