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Blue Wave Sweeps Washington State in the Primary

By: Mark Gjurasic, MHCW Lobbyist

The Primary Election of Tuesday, August 7 clearly favors Democrats in the Washington State legislature, as well as, at the local government level. Democrats continue to create a larger majority in the Washington State House of Representatives and the Senate and clearly issues such as residential and commercial rent control will again be considered. Other issues, such as, a state Capital Gains tax of 6% to 7%, Real-Estate Excise Tax (REET) increases, and a possible raise in the state B&O Tax on Services.

Well over 20 races in the state legislature are below 50% in the primary as Democrats have done a great job of generating “base supporters” to get out the vote in certain key legislative districts. Revenues in Washington State are again above the forecasted rate of what has been anticipated. For example, the state collected $33 million dollars or a 2% increase more than was expected last month. All together the state generated $75 million more dollars than was forecasted by economic experts in Olympia. Unemployment in Washington State is at 4.6%, the rate for Seattle is at 3.6% and the United States is at 3.9%. An additional 12,000 jobs were added in July, which gives a boost to renters to be able to pay their rents.

Just as an update on rent control, we saw in the 2018 session, legislation that would take away the state pre-emption and allow local jurisdictions to determine for themselves on residential rent control, whether it be an apartment or a single-family home in a mobile home park community.

For example, the City of Tacoma Community Vitality and Safety Committee is considering rent control by not allowing property owners to raise their rent over 10%. Additionally, City of Tacoma is considering the following for tenant protections to include:

1. 60-day notice requirements for termination of tenancy

2. 60-day notice requirement for rent increases

3. Move-In Fee Installment Payments

4. Relocation assistance ordinance which requires owners to host in-person meetings with


5. Requirement that owners provide an “information for tenants” packet to renters

6. Requirement that owners inform tenants of any code violations at the property within

the past 12 months – even if caused by the tenant

The City of Seattle is also considering rent control by limiting rent increases for landlords receiving affordable housing tax rates. Rent increases under the Multi-Family Tax Exemption (MFTE) will likely be limited this year. Last years rents jumped 6.7% and this year it’s at about 7.7%. As a result, the City of Seattle froze rents and will likely allow a 4.4% increase for 2018. The housing industry opposed the limit on rent increase under the MFTE program as it was not commissary or in line with the residential housing market activities. In fact, some believe that the Cities decision is illegal.

The bases of the program allow for a 12-year property tax break for restricting or limiting rents on at least 20% of the units for qualifying households.

The apartment industry has further said that there will be less participation in the MFTE program which has been a successful incentive for creating below market housing, that is desperately needed in Seattle, when taken into consideration that statewide there is a backlog of at least 250,000 units that need to fill the need for affordable housing.

On the state level, we saw rent control legislation introduced in the House and the Senate that would allow local jurisdictions to invoke rent control. The House bill had 13 sponsors out of the 98 members in the House of Representatives and will likely have more sponsors as it is expected to be introduced in the 2019 session.

It’s important to note, that legislative issues in Seattle and Tacoma will likely be introduced in Washington state Legislature in 2019 as these issues impact manufactured housing, apartment owners, and single-family housing. In fact, it’s fair to say that the 6 issues outlined above will be introduced in 2019, as well as, changes to the Manufactured Housing Landlord & Tenant Act

CALL TO ACTION OPPOSE HB 2583 – Residential Rent Control Scheduled for Public Hearing Tuesday, January 23 at 10:00 a.m.

HB 2583, concerning local authority to address affordable housing needs through regulation of rent and associated charges, is scheduled for a public hearing onTuesday, January 23 at 10:00 a.m. in the House Judiciary Committee in the John L. O’Brien Building Room A. 

We need you to come to Olympia and testify in opposition of HB 2583.

This bill allows local cities and counties to allow rent control on rented/leased residential properties (single family homes, apartments and manufactured housing communities).  It repeals the 1981 state preemption against rent control and allows cities to regulate your rent in any way that they would like.

We also need you to do some grassroots and contact your 2 House Members and the members of the House Judiciary Committee in OPPOSITION of HB 2583.  If you do not know who your two house members are, you can locate them at:

The House Judiciary members include:

Name District Party Phone Email
Roger Goodman 45 D (360) 786-7878
Paul Graves, Asst Ranking Minority 5 R (360) 786-7876
Larry Haler 8 R (360) 786-7986
Drew Hansen 23 D (360) 786-7842
Laurie Jinkins, Chair 27 D (360) 786-7930
Christine Kilduff, Vice Chair 28 D (360) 786-7958
Steve Kirby 29 D (360) 786-7996
Brad Klippert 8 R (360) 786-7882
Dick Muri 28 R (360) 786-7890
Tina Orwall 33 D (360) 786-7834
Jay Rodne, Ranking Minority Member 5 R (360) 786-7852
Matt Shea 4 R (360) 786-7984
Javier Valdez 46 D (360) 786-7818


Attached are also contact information for all the House members and a factsheet on opposing rent control.

Please ACT right away!

Please let me know who will be coming to Olympia to testifying in opposition of HB 2583.

Please place this notice on our website and forward this information to all of our members.

1/23/18 10:00 am

House Full Committee
House Hearing Rm A
John L. O’Brien Building
Olympia, WA

Public Hearing:

  1. HB 2583 – Concerning local authority to address affordable housing needs through regulation of rent and associated charges.
  2. HB 2578 – Preserving and expanding rental housing options for persons whose source of income is derived from or includes sources other than employment.
  3. HB 2475 – Concerning the tolling of construction defect claims.
  4. HB 2537 – Regarding foreclosure and distraint sales of manufactured/mobile or park model homes.
  5. HB 2544 – Requiring property sold in tax lien foreclosure proceedings to be sold as is.

Thank you in advance.

Many thanks.
Mark Gjurasic
Public Affairs of Washington, LLC
(360) 481-6000

Please click the links below for additional information:

OPPOSE Rent Control HB 2583 & SB 6400 (1)

2018 House Member Contact Information


CALL TO ACTION! Rent Control Legislation – OPPOSE HB 2583 & SB 6400

Contact Members of the
House Judiciary Committee TO OPPOSE HB 2583
& Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee TO OPPOSE SB 6400

Dear MHCW Members:

HB 2583, concerning local authority to address affordable housing needs through regulation of rent and associated charges, was introduced in the House Judiciary Committee.

The identical bill, SB 6400, concerning local authority to address affordable housing needs through regulation of rent and associated charges, was introduced in the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee.

These bills allow local cities and counties to allow rent control on rented/leased residential properties, which includes manufactured housing communities.  They repeal the 1981 state preemption against rent control and allows cities to regulate your rent in any way that they would like.

We need you to do some grassroots and contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee in OPPOSITION of HB 2583 and contact the members of the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee in OPPOSITION of SB 6400.

Attached is a factsheet on why rent control is not beneficial to tenants, community and landlords as well as the list of committee members.

Please ACT right away!

Thank you in advance.

Many thanks.
Mark Gjurasic
Public Affairs of Washington, LLC
(360) 481-6000

Please click the links below to download additional information.

OPPOSE Rent Control HB 2583 & SB 6400

2018 Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee Members

2018 House Judiciary Committee Members

Legislative Fact Sheet Thursday, February 2, 2017

Legislative Fact Sheet

Thursday, February 2


  1. Manufactured Housing Communities – SB 5615/HB 1846

Allows manufactured housing communities in areas outside of the urban growth areas for the purpose of providing affordable housing, if the area utilities allow communities to function without additional resources. (Senators Sheldon, Padden, Fortunato, Hobbs, Warnick, and Wilson. Representatives Griffey, Barkis, Stokesbary, Haler, and Hargrove)

STATUS SB:  Referred to Local Government on January 31

STATUS HB:  Referred to Environment (Unofficially) on February 1

  1. Modifying rental agreements upon renewal- HB 1720

For one year leases, requires landlords to provide three months notice of revisions to the rental terms and conditions. Requires the landlord to provide 12 month notice of intent not to renew or the actual expiration date (Representative Shea)

STATUS HB: Referred to Judiciary (Unofficially) on January 27

  1. Attorney General Dispute Resolution Workshop
    1. Program staff attended several events organized by tenants and landlords and provided information about the Program and RCW 59.20. These events were very successful and the Program intends to continue them into the next reporting period.
    2. The Program does not have recommendations for legislation during the 2017 Legislative Session but may consider legislative changes in the future should the need arise.


  1. Mobile Home Park Closures – SB 5520/ HB 1514

Requiring a minimum of three years’ notice on closures or conversions of mobile home parks and manufactured housing communities. (Senators Kuderer, McCoy, Chase, Saldana, Keiser, Hunt, Rolfes, and Frockt; Representatives Robinson, McBride, Pellicciotti, Orwall, Macri, Ormsby, Gregerson, Kloba, Pollet, Appleton, Bergquist, Tharinger, Clibborn, Farrell, and Dolan)

STATUS SB: Referred to Financial Institutions & Insurance on January 26

STATUS HB:  Public Hearing in the House Committee on Judiciary at 8 a.m. on February 1st

  1. Source of Income Discrimination – SB 5407/HB 1633

The bill would prevent discrimination in housing decisions based on a prospective tenant’s source of income. Essentially makes a Section 8 voucher holders a protected class for housing across the state.

(Senators Frockt, Miloscia, Walsh, Mullet, Billig, Kuderer, Pedersen, Hasegawa, Darnielle, and Keiser; Representatives Riccelli, Kirby, Macri, Frame, Goodman, Kagi, Peterson, Jinkins, Ormsby, Kloba, Senn, Stonier, Stanford, Appleton, Robinson, McBride, Doglio, Pollet, Santos)

STATUS SB:  Public Hearing in the Senate Committee on Financial Institutions & Insurance at 8 a.m. on January 31.

STATUS HB:  Referred to Judiciary (Unofficially) on January 25

  1. Sale of Mobile Home Parks — SB 5627/1798

Addresses the sale of manufactured/mobile home communities. Extends the real estate excise tax exemption for qualified sales of a manufactured/mobile home community.

(Senators Kuderer, Hunt, Saldana, and Keiser ; Representatives McBride, Gregerson, Robinson, Appleton, Ormsby, Macri, McDonald, Orwall, Reeves, Kagi, Sells, Bergquist, and Pollet)

STATUS SB: Referred to Financial Institutions & Insurance on February 1

STATUS HB: Referred to Judiciary (Unofficially) on January 30

CALL TO ACTION MHCW OPPOSES HB 1514 and Companion Bill SB5520: 3 Year Notice of Community Closure or Conversion


MHCW OPPOSES HB 1514 and Companion Bill SB5520:

3 Year Notice of Community Closure or Conversion

This morning in the House Judiciary Committee, MHCW opposed HB 1514, which requires a minimum of three years notice on closures or conversions of Mobile Home Parks and manufactured housing communities.  We opposed this measure because:

  • This bill is unconstitutional
  • Tenants will not benefit in a partially closed community because a group of tenants wait until the very end and some don’t even move out causing abandoned homes, nuisance, attracting squatters, and looting of property because of abandoned communities.  This creates an unsafe condition and environment.
  • This legislation singles out manufactured mobile home owners in that the legislation does not apply to other groups, such as Non-profits, local governments, housing authority and other real-estate groups.
  • A three-year closure notice may cause the landlord to miss the opportunity to sell because within a three-year notice market changes could develop unfavorable to the landlord.
  • A two or three-year notice does not solve tenants finding housing – the solution is to create more housing stock by building new manufactured housing communities in Washington state.

CONTACT your lawmakers (call and follow-up with an email) in the House of Representatives, if you are not sure who your lawmaker is you can find them on the following link:

Please call all lawmakers, where you live and the location of your park.  You can find contact information at the following:


CONTACT by calling and emailing members of the House Judiciary Committeenames and contact information are attached.

Please TELL them Vote NO on HB 1514 and SB 5520

If you have any questions, please call any of us directly.

Craig Hillis
MHCW Executive Director
(360) 753 8730 

Kyle Woodring
Government Affairs Director
(206) 384-9984

Chester Baldwin
MHCW Lobbyist/Attorney
(360) 688-4588

Mark Gjurasic
MHCW Lobbyist
(360) 481-6000

House of Origin Cutoff Legislative Report Wednesday, February 17 – 5:00 p.m.


Relocation Assistance for Tenants of Mobile Home Parks – SB 6461/HB 2760
The limitation on eligibility to low-income households is eliminated, as is the definition of “low- income household.”
The provision that payments are subject to eligibility verification by the Department and availability of funds is deleted. The date after which mobile home park closures trigger eligibility is updated to the effective date of the act.
There will likely be meetings with manufactured housing landlords and tenant groups to discuss this legislation after session. The Department of Commerce will also be bringing forward parks that they believe will be utilizing tenant relocation funding and possible methodology to generate more tenant relocation funds. Currently, the tenant relocation fund is at approximately $1.4 million. Everyone is concerned that there may not be enough funding as we pay for more tenants to be relocated as described in this legislation.
(Senators O’Ban, Hobbs and Warnick; Representatives Manweller, Springer, Zeiger and Hickel)
STATUS SB: DEAD Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance
STATUS HB: DEAD House Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs
Continue reading “House of Origin Cutoff Legislative Report Wednesday, February 17 – 5:00 p.m.”

Washington Working Families Can’t Afford Rent Control

Background on Rent Control

During the 1960s and 1970s, state and local governments embarked on an experiment. Costs of living were steadily increasing and major metropolitan areas were unable to accommodate the migration of people into their municipalities. To maintain the supply of affordable housing, governments started passing ordinances to limit the amount that landlords could raise rent. Unfortunately, these experiments failed to meet the objectives they set out to address.

Continue reading “Washington Working Families Can’t Afford Rent Control”