Photo: Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Ranch and Home

MOSES LAKE - On Tuesday, Grant County Home Builders Association Dustin Swartz expressed concerns about the legislature’s lack of movement in helping renters and first-time home buyers. Swartz says many of the bills passed during the 2021 legislative session will have “significant financial fallout for the most vulnerable in our community.”

Swartz went on to say in a press release that the newly passed house bills missed protecting the “paychecks and purchasing power of financially susceptible renters and first-time home buyers.

“Energy codes passed in 2018 by the Washington State Building Codes Council added an estimated $20,000 to $30,000 when it went into effect on February 1, 2021,” Swartz wrote.

Swartz added that proposed impact fees for road improvement projects affect new construction. According to the Grant County Home Builders Association, for every $1,000 increase in cost, 189 families are priced out of the housing market.

Sen. Judy Warnick of Moses Lake sides with Swartz’s sentiment.

“I believe our local communities and builders should be the ones coming up with efficient housing solutions, not mandates by the government that do more to harm buyers than good,” she stated. 

Swartz referred to a Seattle Times article titled "It’s Seattle’s state now in politics, and everybody else is living in it."

“This is certainly true in housing as policies are decided by a few people living in apartments in Seattle, or other metropolitan areas, who don’t understand Grant County and what our citizens want,” Swartz wrote. “While we in the building industry understand the ever-increasing burden placed on our industry by over-regulation, Senator Warnick was able to share specifics that served to illustrate just how disconnected many in Olympia are from what we know are solutions to our worsening housing crisis.”

According to real estate website, Redfin, the median home price in Grant County has increased just over 19% year-over-year.