HB1782: Missing Middle Housing Update and Advocacy

February 8, 2022

Image 1: Duplex in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood.
Image 2: Map of Seattle lots that are currently zoned single family and are near frequent transit. Yellow denotes the lots that are larger than 4,500 square feet and red denotes the lots that are smaller than 4,500 square feet. The red areas would be excluded from the affordability requirements in HB1782 if the current minimum lot size amendment remains in tact.

The statewide Missing Middle Housing bill (HB 1782) is still alive! Thanks to tireless advocacy by people like you, this bill to allow duplexes (Image 1), triplexes, and fourplexes throughout Washington's cities is still moving forward.

Unfortunately, the House Committee on Local Government added an amendment to limit these modest and more affordable housing options to lots that are larger than 4,500 square feet. This amendment severely limits the missing middle housing options that would be permitted through the bill. In Seattle, a 4,500 square foot minimum excludes over one-quarter of the single-family zoned lots within a half-mile of frequent transit (Image 2).

Moreover, these exempted lots are concentrated in Seattle neighborhoods with some of the highest access to opportunity and lowest risk of displacement, such as Queen Anne, Wallingford, Phinney Ridge, and Greenwood. Such neighborhoods--with good transit access, a range of amenities, and a low risk of displacement--are exactly where we should be allowing denser and more affordable homes to be built.

Guest Post by Jesse Simpson

HB 1782 must pass the Washington State House by next week, February 15. Send a message to your lawmakers today, urging them to pass the bill with an amendment to remove the lot size requirement. Click HERE to email your legislators.