OLYMPIA – A bill to require the Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC) to adopt uniform standards for temporary emergency shelters passed the Senate on a unanimous vote today.
Temporary emergency shelters such as rapid-build structures and tiny home villages provide local jurisdictions with affordable and easily scalable options for safe and rapid housing for unsheltered members of their communities.
Senate Bill 5553, sponsored by Sen. Liz Lovelett (D-Anacortes), would provide local governments with clarity when constructing or authorizing those forms of shelter in their communities.
“So many of our neighbors are experiencing homelessness, and while one part of the solution is providing direct resources, it’s also crucial we reform our state’s regulations to help our local partners build more quickly,” said Lovelett. “By clarifying rules around temporary emergency shelters, we can make the authorization process easier for local governments, while also providing shelter for our neighbors in need.”
The bill stipulates that by July 1, 2026, the SBCC must adopt standards for temporary emergency shelters and make them available for local adoption. After passing the Senate, the bill will now head to the House for consideration.