OLYMPIA – Legislation to remove barriers to building co-living housing in Washington state passed the Senate today.

House Bill 1998, sponsored by Rep. Mia Gregerson (D-Bellevue), would require cities and counties planning under the Growth Management Act to allow co-living housing in any residential zone within an urban growth area that allows multifamily housing.

“This is a big step forward for affordable housing,” said Sen. Jesse Salomon (D-Shoreline), who sponsored the Senate companion. “We have seen a worrisome rise in senior homelessness, and many of our young adults are unable to afford housing near work or school. Co-living can offer clean, safe housing and a sense of community for people.”

Under the bill, co-living housing is any residential development with individual, rented, lockable units where residents share kitchen facilities with other units. If enacted, cities and counties would be directed to allow co-living development no later than Dec. 31, 2025. The bill also prevents them from instituting co-living housing standards that are more restrictive than those required for other types of multifamily residential housing in the same zone.

“Rep. Gregerson and I worked so hard on this bill because we know it will help people,” Salomon said. “This is a way to get affordable housing on the market quickly and without subsidies. That’s really hard to do in our current housing environment.”

Having been amended, the bill now heads to the House for concurrence.