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Florida, Washington State Pass AARP-Backed Affordable Housing Bills

En español | We applaud lawmakers in Washington state and Florida for passing AARP-backed legislation that will expand affordable housing options for older adults.

Washington state legislators last week approved a bill that loosens restrictions on accessory dwelling units (ADUs), also known as backyard cottages or in-law units. They are small homes designed to fit alongside single-family residences on the same property.

AARP fought hard for the legislation, which can help older adults live closer to loved ones. Hundreds of people toured a model ADU we set up on the state Capitol lawn this winter to call attention to the issue.

We also successfully pushed for a bill that aims to expand midsize housing options such as duplexes and fourplexes by allowing them to be built on smaller lots in some communities. The bills are with Gov. Jay Inslee, who is expected to sign them.

Constructing a variety of housing is crucial to meeting the needs of an aging population, said Cathy MacCaul, AARP Washington state advocacy director.

“Currently, we have thousands of older adults who are house-rich but cash-poor,” MacCaul said. “Some would like to sell their home and buy something more affordable in the community, but in many cases, that type of housing does not exist.”

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed the AARP-supported Live Local Act. The sweeping legislation pumps an additional $711 million into affordable housing programs in the Sunshine State, “the largest investment in affordable and workforce housing in Florida’s history,” said Zayne Smith, AARP Florida advocacy director.

Among other provisions, the law boosts incentives for developers to build more affordable housing and provides funding to help teachers, police officers and other front-line workers buy homes in the communities where they work.

“We’re thrilled that Gov. DeSantis signed the Live Local Act in Florida,” Smith said. “People of all ages and abilities need accessible and affordable housing options that will allow them to continue living safely in their homes and communities as they age.”

Read more about our state advocacy work and what we’re doing to make communities livable for people of all ages.


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