2024 Legislative Wrap-Up: Short session ends, MSS bill passes

Published: March 25, 2024

March 7th marked the end of the 60-day legislative session. While the session was not as successful for housing policy as we had hoped, there were still some victories and most importantly, momentum built this session. We will come back in 2025 stronger than ever to advocate for essential resources for meeting the needs of students, youth, and families experiencing homelessness across our state—and for protections against unfair, abusive, and extreme rent increases alongside our partners.

Our top two priorities

  • Homeless Student Stability Program (HSSP): Having secured funding for the Homeless Student Stability Program (HSSP) for the biennium, we pivoted to work with legislators to ensure that there is $2.6 million in ongoing funding for HSSP in the 2025 budget.
  • Maternity Support Services (MSS): 2E2SSB 5580, a bill that will help ensure MSS continues to support and benefit pregnant and post-partum persons experiencing homelessness, fully passed the legislature and has been sent to the Governor!

Other legislative victories

  • The final Operating Budget appropriated another $60 million to backfill the state and local document recording fee shortfall which should be enough to prevent cuts to homelessness services in local communities across the state.
  • An additional $127.539 million was invested in affordable housing through the Housing Trust Fund in the final Capital Budget.
  • E2SSB 5908 (Extending foster care services to youth ages 18-21) passed out of the legislature.
  • 2E2SHB 1541 (Nothing about us without us act) passed out of the legislature.
  • 2SHB 1929 (Supporting young adults following inpatient behavioral health treatment) passed out of the legislature.
  • ESHB 2331 (Prevents the banning of instructional materials solely because they focus on a protected classes) passed out of the legislature.

Unfortunately, there were also some legislative losses. Notably, the rent stabilization bill (ESHB 2114) died right at the finish line, but the fight is not over yet. We alongside our community and legislative partners will be coming back next session to push even harder and get the job done. The Real Estate Transfer Tax bill (HB 2276), which would have taxed the sale of properties priced at over $3.025 million, also unfortunately died.

Other bills that did not make it out of session

  • 2SSB 5591 (Providing dependent youth with financial education and support)
  • 2SHB 2270 (Creating a Washington state department of housing)
  • ESSB 5850 (Supporting students who are chronically absent and at risk of not graduating high school)
  • SHB 2287 (Creating an advisory board to the office of the corrections ombuds)

What’s next

Looking ahead, we will continue working to ensure there is ongoing funding for HSSP in the 2025 budget, and we will begin planning to secure increased funding for the Washington Youth & Families Fund (WYFF). With 2024 marking the 20th anniversary of the creation of WYFF, it’s the perfect time to remind the legislature of all the good this program has done and how much more it could do with increased funding.

Get the latest news from Building Changes.