Pressure mounts for Gov. Inslee to restart private construction projects

Apr 9, 2020, 9:48 AM | Updated: 10:44 am
Private construction, price gouging...
Private construction workers are asking that they be considered essential during the state's stay-at-home order. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Pressure is mounting on Gov. Inslee to relax his stay-at-home requirements for the construction industry. He is getting letters from developers, lawmakers, and others saying private construction is just as essential as public projects.

How Washington’s stay-at-home order will affect construction projects

While most large public projects have been halted — including state road projects and some Sound Transit work — public construction projects are on Gov. Inslee’s “essential” list. Building homes is not, a double-standard contractors believe isn’t fair.

That being so, Republican state Rep. Chris Corry has asked the governor to allow private construction to begin again.

“If you say that KeyArena can continue but my builder building a house for a family can’t, there’s something wrong there,” he said. “I would argue that if the public sector can do that job safely the private sector can do it just as safely.”

Rep. Corry went so far as to include a safety plan from an environmental consulting firm. He believes it’s vital for our economy to get construction workers back on the job.

“I’m hopeful we can look at the big picture,” Rep. Corry said. “We can protect the lives of people across Washington state, but we also need to protect our economy. If we want to win this battle long term, it is going to take making sure we have an economy in place that can help cover the costs as we come through this.”

He said most contractors were already taking extra safety precautions and limiting contact at job sites before the stay-at-home order took effect.

Rep. Corry said there are some unintended consequences of stopping private construction. Families waiting for their homes could lose their loans, and even face extra rent or mortgage fees if they can’t move as planned.

“We have homes that need to be completed,” he said. “We have a variety of construction projects that the private sector are doing that are essential to both the people of the state as well as the economy of the state.”

Full details on what’s allowed under Inslee’s stay-at-home order

Eagle Creek Land and Development is one of the other groups sending letters to the Gov. Inslee’s office, also asking that private construction to be considered essential.

It says the 24,000 single-family homes built in Washington in 2018 contributed over $8 billion to state’s economy. It also warns that halting home construction will make the current housing crisis worse. It cited further concerns that unattended job sites will be targets for thieves, considering the amount of equipment and materials that have had to be left behind when job sites were closed.

Gov. Inslee recently relaxed the stay-at-home order for real estate brokers, allowing them to continue in-home showings as long as social distancing rules were followed.

The private construction industry is hoping Inslee will do the same for it.

Local News

Teen home run ball...
Jake Chapman, KIRO 7 News

Teen from Puyallup catches home run ball that ended M’s 21-year playoff drought

17-year-old Marchany Roman, of Puyallup, caught the drought-ending home run hit by Cal Raleigh after the M's defeated Oakland Friday night.
1 day ago
smiley woke...
L.B. Gilbert

Tiffany Smiley criticizes Seattle Times over cease and desist letter

After being issued a cease and desist order, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tiffany Smiley is now criticizing The Seattle Times.
1 day ago
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 30: Julio Rodriguez #44 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates with fan...
Nicole Jennings

Mariners will not be hosting playoff games this weekend

The Mariners will be playing in the first round of the MLB playoff games this weekend. So how likely is it that those games will take place in Seattle?
1 day ago
Aberdeen High School...
Sam Campbell

Boy accused of using Aberdeen HS TikTok to post shooting threats

Classes are set to resume in Aberdeen after they were canceled because of threats posted to one of the high school’s social media accounts.
1 day ago
Suspect in REI bike theft - Police said the suspect admitted to stealing the bike, and he was arres...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Man suspected of stealing bike from REI worth $2,400 arrested in Bellevue

A man suspected of stealing a bike worth $2,400 was arrested by Bellevue police on Tuesday.
1 day ago
Flood Insurance...
Ted Buehner

Rainy season is in a month, are you ready with flood insurance?

After an all-time record dry summer, it may be hard to believe that the Washington flood season is just around the corner.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Pressure mounts for Gov. Inslee to restart private construction projects