This post is a part of Housing Affordability Institute’s ongoing State Legislatures and Housing Reform project. Throughout 2023, the Institute will monitor how state lawmakers are working to address their states’ housing challenges.
As March nears the halfway point, state legislatures continue to press forward on housing.
- Governors lead from the front. Governors across the country continue to press their legislatures to make increasing housing supply and affordability a top priority in 2023.
- Zoning modernization. State leaders are taking action on zoning, one of the largest barriers to housing access and affordability.
- Lifting of affordability roadblocks. Zoning modernization is only one roadblock that stands in the way of housing affordability and access. Exempting new housing from unnecessary environmental reviews, ending aesthetic mandates, and. lifting parking requirements are policies being examined by legislatures this year.
- Housing transcends the partisan divide. Increasing housing affordability and access through zoning modernization and the lifting of affordability roadblocks are values shared by governors and legislators of both parties.
Bills Passed In One or Both Chambers:
- Montana: SB323, a zoning moderation bill allowing up to four units in single-family-zoned areas, passed the Montana Senate 47-3 on March 2. SB 382 requires populous municipalities to take a proactive approach to allocate enough space for future housing. These bills, along with SB245 which passed in February, await action in the Montana House. Read more.
- Virginia: The first state legislature to adjourn in 2023 made transparency in local housing policies a top priority in 2023. Multiple bills would require municipalities with 3,500 or more residents to submit information to state regulators on community development financing and how new or amended policies will impact housing access and affordability. Read more.
- Washington: HB 1110, which would enable the creation of more missing middle housing, was voted off the floor in the House on March 6 and is headed to the state Senate for action. Read more.