Housing & Homelessness

Washington State Department of Commerce


Homeownership Disparity Study & Workgroup

Project Details

In a concerted effort to address the critical issue of homeownership disparities in Washington, the Department of Commerce partnered with ECONorthwest and BDS Planning, now Uncommon Bridges, to create a set of recommendations, informed by technical analysis and the input of an expert work group. This 32-person Homeownership Disparities Work Group, chaired by Commerce Director Lisa Brown, was curated to reflect a diversity of perspectives, embracing differences in race, ethnicity, gender, and income. Two individuals with firsthand experience in purchasing homes through the Housing Trust Fund low-income homeownership program were integral members, enriching discussions with their lived experiences.

BDS Planning played a pivotal role as the facilitator, facilitating consensus on recommendations through a series of five work group meetings. Additionally, BDS engaged in meaningful one-on-one conversations with work group members, fostering an environment where candid feedback could ultimately strengthen the group's output. BDS Planning also conducted a series of focus groups, amplifying the voices of BIPOC Washingtonians who had traversed the intricate paths of pursuing, achieving, and sustaining homeownership. Ultimately, the product of the work group was a series of data-driven, expert-informed recommendations that directly influenced policy decisions in the 2023 Legislative session, marking a significant step toward bridging the homeownership gap between white and BIPOC households in Washington.

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