Governor Jay Inslee has signed a new law in Washington to address the housing crisis and increase the housing supply. House Bill 1110 legalizes duplexes and fourplexes in most neighborhoods, overriding local zoning rules that limited areas to single-family homes.
The law aims to combat rising home prices, homelessness, and the need for 1 million homes over the next few decades. While it doesn't ban single-family homes, it prevents cities from mandating exclusively single-family neighborhoods. Similar legislation had failed in the past, but this year supporters collaborated with the Association of Washington Cities.
Other states like Oregon and California have already taken steps to eliminate single-family zoning. Critics argue for local control over land use decisions, claiming the law favors developers without addressing affordable housing. Supporters believe increasing the housing supply is crucial. Under the law, cities with populations between 25,000 and 75,000 must allow duplexes in all residential areas. Areas near transit stops, parks, or schools must allow fourplexes. In larger cities, all residential areas must allow fourplexes, and areas near transit or parks must allow sixplexes.