Are you curious about the current status and future outlook for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in Bellingham Neighborhoods, Washington?
The 2023 Regular Session Legislature in the State of Washington has passed Engrossed House Bill 1337, amended by the Senate. The bill aims to address the housing affordability problem that affects various income levels.
Shortage Of Affordable Housing
Many areas in Washington State face a shortage of rental housing, especially for those with low to moderate incomes. Most residentially zoned land is currently dedicated to single detached houses, which are becoming increasingly unaffordable for many households.
- The State believes accessory dwelling units (ADUs) can offer a more affordable housing option, particularly in these single-family zones.
- Allowing for various housing types, including ADUs, can help address historic economic exclusion in single-family zones. This can provide lower-cost homes, enabling more families to access public amenities such as schools and parks, often only available to people with a higher income.
- ADUs can also be rented below market rates, offering additional affordable housing options for renters. They can provide housing for very low-income households, including grandparents, adult children, family members with disabilities, and friends going through life transitions. In some areas, more than 10 percent of ADUs are occupied by tenants who don’t pay rent.
- ADUs can meet the needs of Washington’s growing senior population by offering senior-friendly housing. This type of housing is physically accessible, located in walkable communities near amenities such as transit and grocery stores, and doesn’t require costly renovations of existing housing stock.
- Homeowners who add an ADU may benefit from added income. Additionally, ADUs are more energy-efficient than single detached houses, providing environmental benefits. Siting ADUs near transit hubs, employment centers, and public amenities can help increase walkability, shortening household commutes and curtailing sprawl.
The legislature intends to promote and continues encouraging the creation of ADUs to address the need for additional affordable housing options.
Bellingham And ADU Laws
The Washington State bill no longer requires unit owners to live in one of the units. Bellingham’s owner-occupancy requirement will end in January 2026 when the city must adopt the state law.
Hi! I’m Jolene Baijot, I’m a Realtor in Washington. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I appreciate your time spent on this site. You can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, or contact me through this website. I’d love to hear from you!