OLYMPIA — A bill to create more affordable homeownership opportunities passed the Senate on a 48-1 vote Friday. 

Senate Bill 6173, sponsored by Sen. T’wina Nobles (D-Fircrest), aims to expand the production of affordable housing by enabling local municipalities to support organizations in creating homeownership opportunities for households earning up to 80% of area median income. 

It also seeks to address the significant gap between median incomes and home prices in areas where homeownership is largely unattainable for those earning less than the median income, particularly among communities of color.   

According to the state Department of Commerce’s homeownership disparities report, the white household homeownership rate of 68% was 23 percentage points higher than the Hispanic/Latino household homeownership rate of 45% and a staggering 37 percentage points higher than the Black household homeownership rate of 31%. 

“This is a critical step in fostering inclusivity and ensuring that hardworking individuals and families are not left behind,” Nobles said. “When everyone can own a home, they invest in their communities, sparking positive change that benefits us all.” 

The bill now moves to the House for consideration.