wa-law.org > bill > 2023-24 > HB 1633 > Substitute Bill

HB 1633 - Homes for heroes program


Section 1

The legislature finds that the workforce crisis is impacting vital occupations such as nurses, first responders, and mental health professionals particularly hard. These occupations are critical to the quality of life and well-being of all Washingtonians.

The legislature also recognizes the ongoing housing crisis that has put homeownership out of reach for many. Median home prices have been increasing dramatically over the past decade and increased by 23.9 percent alone in 2020. This housing crisis is a deterrent for many health care professionals, law enforcement, social workers, and other vital providers to accept recruitment opportunities in Washington state.

Therefore, the legislature finds that it is necessary to provide additional down payment assistance to targeted occupations to encourage relocation to and homeownership in Washington state. It is the intent of this act to help more heroes find homes.

Section 2

  1. The department shall contract with the housing finance commission to design, develop, implement, and evaluate a statewide pilot program to provide down payment and closing cost assistance to people who work in targeted occupations and meet income requirements.

  2. By December 1, 2023, the pilot program must provide loans to income-eligible workers in targeted occupations for down payment and closing costs for the purchase of a primary residence. Loans may not exceed five percent of the first mortgage on the residence or $25,000, whichever is less. Loans must be made available with no interest. A pilot program participant may not be required to repay the loan until the first mortgage is paid in full or the property is sold, refinanced, rented, or transferred.

  3. To be eligible for a down payment and closing cost assistance loan under this section, an individual must:

    1. Have a household income below 100 percent of the state median household income; and

    2. Be employed in a permanent, full-time capacity as:

      1. A corrections officer, peace officer, reserve officer, or tribal police officer as defined in RCW 43.101.010;

      2. A firefighter;

      3. A 911 communications officer, dispatcher, or operator;

      4. An emergency medical technician or first responder as defined in RCW 18.73.030;

    3. A physician assistant as defined in RCW 18.71A.010;

    1. A registered nurse, nurse practitioner, advanced registered nurse practitioner, licensed practical nurse, or nursing technician as defined in chapter 18.79 RCW;

    2. A credentialed health care professional as described under RCW 18.130.040;

    3. A direct care worker as defined in RCW 74.39A.009;

     ix. A mental health professional as defined in RCW 71.05.020;
    1. A social worker as defined in RCW 18.320.010; or
    1. An owner or employee of a licensed or certified child care center, licensed or certified outdoor nature-based care, or licensed family home provider; or

    2. Be a servicemember or veteran of the armed forces.

  4. The total amount of funding for the pilot program may not exceed $15,000,000. No new loans may be made after June 30, 2025. All loan repayments received must be returned to the state general fund.

  5. By December 1, 2024, and in compliance with RCW 43.01.036, the housing finance commission shall submit a preliminary report to the appropriate committees of the legislature summarizing initial results of the program including information about the number of borrowers assisted, the average amount of the down payment assistance, and the location of the property financed. A final report of results is due to the appropriate committees of the legislature by December 1, 2025.

Section 3

This act may be known and cited as the homes for heroes act.

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