Washington Legislation to Address Discrimination in Home Ownership
The state of Washington recently enacted the covenant homeownership account and program act. The purpose of the act is to address the state’s “history of housing discrimination due to racially restrictive real estate covenants” of various types.
Under the act, one or more special purpose credit programs will be created to provide down payment and closing cost assistance to qualifying first time home buyers in economically disadvantaged classes of people identified in periodic studies by the Washington state housing finance commission. These programs must provide loans for down payment and closing cost assistance to qualifying borrowers. Such loans can be combined with other forms of down payment and closing cost assistance. Such loans would be repaid at the time the house is sold.
The special purpose credit programs will be funded by a $100 assessment to be collected by county auditors in addition to any other charge, surcharge, or assessment allowed by law when a document is recorded in the real property records of the county. This assessment applies whether or not the document to be recorded involves a transaction within the terms of the act, but there are some exceptions. Although most parts of the act become effective on July 23, 2023, the assessment will begin to be collected on January 1, 2024.
If you need assistance with these issues, contact Per Oscarsson or one of the other attorneys in Beresford Booth’s Business and Real Estate Group.