City Council receives affordable housing strategy

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he City of Tacoma, in collaboration with its community partners, has developed an Affordable Housing Action Strategy to address Tacoma’s key challenges and recommended approaches that the City could consider taking. The City Council received the proposed strategy at its council meeting this week.

The intensive four-month process to develop the strategy included a series of community listening sessions, focus groups and other avenues for public feedback organized by the city and its community partners.

“Affordable housing and its availability impact people in an immediate way every day. It’s because of this that the City Council and I identified this issue as a high priority,” said Mayor Victoria Woodards. “It is projected that, over the next ten years, implementing this strategy would dramatically increase the city’s investments in new rental and homeownership opportunities and strengthen anti-displacement measures.”

Implementation of the strategy would include preserving affordable units at risk of converting to market-rate rental units and creating comprehensive protections for renters.

Key challenges identified in the strategy include accelerating housing market conditions, a limited rental supply, households experiencing significant housing cost burdens, and community members experiencing barriers accessing or staying in housing.

Approaches recommended in the strategy to address these key challenges include the creation of new housing, keeping existing housing affordable and in good repair, helping community members stay in their current housing, and reducing barriers for those who often encounter them.

Targets and their associated level of investment were broadly estimated for each of these recommended strategic approaches in order to guide public investments in housing activities and enable the City to track and report its progress along three key metrics:

  • Number of units produced
  • Number of units preserved
  • Number of households served

With the strategy’s implementation it is projected that, over the next 10 years, it has the potential to:

  • Produce 6,000 new affordable units
  • Preserve 2,300 existing affordable units
  • Serve an additional 2,200 households

These new or preserved units, and new services or programs, would reach a total of 10,500 Tacoma households.

The strategy contains a series of recommendations that call for a large investment of public, philanthropic and private resources totaling as much as $70 million over the next 10 years.

City staff would incorporate budget requests as it brings forward implementation actions over the next several years.

Additional information is available at cityoftacoma.org/affordablehousingstrategy.

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