Eight Bed Expansion Rules Become Final

Last month DSHS released a “Dear Provider” letter notifying that the final rules will be formally adopted on August 1, 2023 to allow for qualified adult family homes to increase capacity to a seventh or eighth bed. Through the advocacy efforts of the Adult Family Home Council, legislation was passed in early 2020. Some homes began increasing capacity later that year.  So far 89 adult family homes have applied for and been approved for an increase in capacity.  

Homes interested in expanding must meet the qualification outlined in RCW 70.128.066

The department may only accept and process an application to increase the bed capacity to seven or eight beds when:

  • A period of no less than twenty-four months has passed since the issuance of the initial adult family home license;
  • The home has been licensed for six residents for at least twelve months prior to application;
  • The home has completed two full inspections that have resulted in no enforcement actions;
  • The home has submitted an attestation that an increase in the number of beds will not adversely affect the health, safety, or quality of life of current residents of the home;
  • The home has demonstrated to the department the ability to comply with the emergency evacuation standards established by the department in rule;
  • The home has a residential sprinkler system in place in order to serve residents who require assistance during an evacuation; and
  • The home has paid any fees associated with licensure or additional inspections.


The department shall accept and process applications under RCW 70.128.060(13) for a seven or eight bed adult family home only if:

  • The new provider is a provider of a currently licensed adult family home that has been licensed for a period of no less than twenty-four months since the issuance of the initial adult family home license;
  • The new provider’s current adult family home has been licensed for six or more residents for at least twelve months prior to application; and
  • The adult family home has completed at least two full inspections, and the most recent two full inspections have resulted in no enforcement actions.

Homes interested in expanding capacity should complete the department’s “Change in Capacity” form.  Members can also contact our office to get assistance or get answers to any additional questions.

4 Responses

  1. There should be exemptions to the rule i.e. COVID deterred frequency of inspections so, accept one inspection where this applies; provider has successfully ran an existing home so, to reduce wait period to 12 months for such a case.

    1. The requirement for 2 inspections is in the law, so it would require a change from the legislature. We are trying to work with DSHS to develop a prioritization for homes potentially able to expand capacity. Depending on timing, we may also consider asking the legislature to modify the law in recognition of the halting of inspections over the last two-three years.

  2. Thank you for the update re: 8 bed approval. It is exciting, as I remember advocating at the state capital with the AFHC, for 8 bed approval. It is always impressive how effective the AFHC is with the work they do for AFH residents and providers.

    I read through the WAC, however, I can’t seem to find anything addressing square footage requirements. Can you please message me what the square footage requirements are for 8 resident homes (Total home sq ft? Each bedroom, I assume is the same)?
    Thank you.

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