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Tuesday, June 6, 2023
June 6, 2023

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Washington Senate’s proposed budget includes $625 million for affordable housing projects

By , Columbian staff reporter

On Monday morning, the Washington Senate proposed a $7.9 billion capital budget that would allocate $625 million toward more affordable housing, developments near transit, and landlord mitigation assistance.

The 2023-2025 capital budget underscores the state’s building spending for the next two years and covers areas from housing, higher education, environmental protection, and human services. The proposal also includes $400 million in grants and loans through the Housing Trust Fund.

Other funding would go toward:

The budget will also invest in natural resource projects that address water quality and supply, salmon recovery, state parks and air quality, among others. Underscored in the environmental component, a projected $12.3 million would be given for Affordable Housing Cleanup Grants, covering remedial action costs like planning or technical work needed to clean up contaminated development sites.

Behavioral Health needs would be given $860 million as a result of the approval of the budget. In Clark County, $20.6 million in additional funding could be given to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services to build a 48-bed community behavioral health facility.

“Our goal was to make a major investment in affordable housing with this capital budget, and I’m glad that the people who know housing best — our advocates — came out in such strong support for our proposal. I’m confident we’re going to be making a record-setting investment in our Housing Trust Fund this year, and that’s great news for Washington state,” said Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, vice chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee during a Monday public hearing for the budget.

“I’m also confident that by making this housing investment in a sustainable and responsible way, it can be sustained – and built upon – into the future,” he said.

On Monday afternoon, the budget was referred to a Ways and Means Committee public hearing. Today, the budget will be up for approval by the Ways and Means Committee. The Senate is expected to vote on the budget by the end of the week.

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.