Housing Champion Focus: Representative Timm Ormsby from the 3rd Legislative District in Spokane
Representative Timm Ormsby from the 3rd Legislative District in Spokane, chairs the powerful House Appropriations committee, which writes the state budget. He is also a longtime champion for affordable housing and solutions to homelessness.
Representative Ormsby is an active member of the Spokane community, where he was born and raised. As a cement mason by trade, he has been a member of the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association Local 72 since 1990, where he also served as a past president. Rep. Ormsby joined the legislature in 2003.
“My housing involvement dates back to my early days in the Legislature. I was the prime sponsor of HB 2163 in 2005, which was the first document recording fee to provide flexible dollars to communities in order to address their unique homelessness challenges. Senate legislation that same year began the annual point-in-time homelessness count. These efforts helped us better understand and acknowledge the scourge of homelessness and begin to address it more seriously. There have been many subsequent efforts by many other legislators and Legislatures to address homelessness in the ensuing years and I am proud to have supported all of them.”
With the pandemic economy, many Washington residents have struggled with the loss of jobs and income and for nearly a year. Hundreds of thousands of people have fallen behind on rent, and many more have used savings, credit cards, and borrowed money to meet basic needs, or made hard decisions about which bills to pay and which to put off. Without the eviction moratorium, tens of thousands of people would have lost their homes over the last year. Rep. Ormsby is taking the lead on an important piece of the off-ramp to the eviction moratorium. He is the prime sponsor of HB 1277 which creates a new state rent assistance program, funded by adding $100 to the state document recording fee on real estate related transactions like home purchases or refinancing. This bill has passed out of the House Housing, Human Services and Veteran’s committee and is currently in Appropriations.
We are grateful that Rep. Ormsby is working to keep people housed and prevent experiencing a massive wave evictions and homelessness!
For more information on Rep. Ormsby, check out his website.
The beginning of Week 7 marked the second major deadline for bills to move forward -- the fiscal cutoff in the house of origin. All of our bills continue to move forward, including SHB 1236 (just cause), HB 1277 (rental assistance), 2SSB 5160 (eviction prevention), 2SHB 1220 (GMA reforms), SSB 5096 (Capital Gains tax), and more! Over the next couple of weeks until March 9th it will be critical to ensure the bills move from Rules to the floor, and then pass off the floor without harmful amendments. It is crunch time for ALL LAWMAKERS to hear from you -- not just the key policy or fiscal committee members -- because they will all have an opportunity to vote on these bills.
Budget writers are meeting to weigh priorities to fund in the budget. We need your voice to ensure that lawmakers prioritize funding for affordable housing in the Housing Trust Fund, preservation of existing affordable homes, and expansion of our weakened shelter capacity. If you haven't already signed our sign-on letter as an individual or an organization, please take one minute to do so!
We need advocates to speak up for significant investments in affordable housing and shelter today!
Affordable housing is the solution to ending homelessness – yet, housing is out of reach for far too many people in Washington. Most people agree we have a housing crisis in our state – but your lawmakers have an opportunity to do something about it and they need to act!
Budget decisions are being made now and is critical that lawmakers hear from you! Will you sign our letter to support affordable housing investments today?
Join us in asking lawmakers to make these critical investments:
- $240 million for the Housing Trust Fund to build affordable homes,
- $10 million to preserve affordable housing at risk of loss and prevent displacement,
- $70 million for the rapid acquisition of properties newly for sale for use as shelter and affordable housing,
- $40 million for enhanced shelter capacity grants to increase homeless shelter capacity.
One great way to start advocating for affordable housing and better homelessness policies is to attend your local lawmaker's Town Hall event ready to ask questions, keeping them accountable! Here's a list of House and Senate members' town halls through March:
03/13 10:00am-11:00am 5th Reps. Lisa Callan & Bill Ramos, and Sen. Mark Mullet TBD
03/17 6pm-7pm 11th Sen. Bob Hasegawa and Reps. Steve Bergquist and David Hackney https://www.facebook.com/wahousedems/ https://www.youtube.com/wahousedems
03/24 7pm-8pm 33rd Reps. Tina Orwall & Mia Gregerson, and Sen. Karen Keiser https://www.facebook.com/wahousedems/ https://www.youtube.com/wahousedems
03/11 5:30pm-6:30pm Sen. Lisa Wellman and Reps. My-Linh Thai and Tana Senn https://www.facebook.com/wahousedems/ https://www.youtube.com/wahousedems
03/16 6pm-7pm Reps. Sharon Shewmake and Alicia Rule https://www.facebook.com/wahousedems/ https://www.youtube.com/wahousedems