Washington will need more than 1 million homes in next 20 years, says state department of commerce

The Washington State Department of Commerce released a report Thursday projecting that the state will need to add 1.1 million homes over the next 20 years, with most homes needed for residents at the lowest income levels.

Based on census data and population projections, the report said that Washington will need more than 50,000 units of housing per year in order to keep up with population growth.

The report broke down housing needs by area medium income groups. For residents between 0-50% of the AMI, 523,324 homes are needed. The report categorizes these residents as living in apartments.

For residents between 50-120% of the AMI, another 272,722 homes are needed. These residents would primarily live in multiplexes, according to the report.

An additional 310,740 single-family homes will be needed for residents making more than 120% of the AMI.

In addition to the 1.1 million new homes needed in the next 20 years, the report also says 91,357 emergency housing beds will be needed.

“Based on the large number of housing needs at the lower income bands, many communities will need to change the way they plan for housing and plan for more apartments, condominiums, moderate density housing such as middle housing, and accessory dwelling units,” said Dave Andersen, managing director of the Growth Management Services unit. “Planning for housing in the next 20 years will require an inclusive and equity-driven approach if we are to meet the housing needs for all the residents at all income levels.”