Smashing Success at Day on the Hill

Action Alerts, WMFHA Updates,

WMFHA members answered the call to ADVOCATE!

This past Tuesday (January 30th), over 160 WMFHA members and staff spent the day at the Capitol in Olympia meeting with 66 legislators from the House and Senate, and the Lieutenant Governor of Washington, to advocate on behalf of the multi-family housing industry.  

Our members spoke with one voice to three specific bills being considered in this year’s legislative session that could have a VERY direct impact on housing providers and the housing market – OPPOSING HB 2114/SB 5961 (rent stabilization) and SB 6136 (rental industry Business & Occupation tax), and SUPPORTING SB 6210 (unlawful detainer reform).

More impressive was that roughly 75% of the members that made the trip for this year’s Day on the Hill were first time attendees, including our inaugural Kari Anderson Emerging Leaders cohort of 20 and a dedicated group of 5 members from Eastern WA that flew down from Spokane to have their voices heard.  

Our group’s impressive show of solidarity, and willingness to step out of their comfort zone to meet with lawmakers, is a testament to the growing importance of advocacy at all levels of government.  It’s one thing to have a lobbyist speak on behalf of an industry – it’s completely different when you have true practitioners, experts in the industry, show up in mass to explain the detailed implications of what proposed legislation could do to their industry.

I’m pleased to report a couple important update (that have occurred since our Day on the Hill on Tuesday):

SB 5961 (rent stabilization) did not make it out of the Senate Housing committee by the policy cutoff deadline of Wednesday, January 31st…which effectively renders the bill dead for this 2024 legislative session.  

Its House companion bill, HB 2114 (rent stabilization), is ‘alive’ and still being discussed in the House Appropriations committee, and SB 6136 (rental industry Business & Occupation tax) is ‘alive’ and is being discussed in the Senate Ways & Means committee.

The WMFHA GA and lobby teams are continuing to hold discussions with lawmakers and advocating against both HB 2114 and SB 6136.  

I want to share my deep gratitude and appreciation to every WMFHA member that showed up to our Day on the Hill.  You stepped up, had the tough conversations we asked for and needed from you, and…HELPED EFFECT CHANGE!

I also want to recognize and acknowledge our Day on the Hill corporate sponsors for their support in helping ensure every member had a successful and enjoyable experience on Tuesday:

Weidner Apartment Homes, 1Up Floors, Pacific Crest Real Estate, SavATree, Refíno Services.

If you are interested in participating in our Day on the Hill next year or want to get more involved in advocating for the multi-family housing industry, PLEASE DO! Reach out to our GA staff and they’ll be more than happy to include you moving forward.