More than $17 million has been awarded to develop affordable housing across Pierce County

Despite inflation concerns, Tacoma will need nearly 10,000 homes “for sale” to meet projected demand over the next three years, according to the latest US Department of Housing and Urban Development projections. The ministry also expects that only 1,300 new homes will be built in the same period.

With such an unbalanced demand versus supply problem, Pierce County is stepping in to help build solutions for those who will be outbid in such a competitive market.

Pierce County Human Services is awarding more than $17 million to nine affordable housing and low-income housing projects. Pierce County Council approved the use of funds from the American Bailout Act. Several local organizations are receiving funds to develop 335 new units across the county.

Tacoma/Pierce County Habitats for Humanity is one of the developers. CEO Maureen Fife said the developments are steps in a positive direction to help people struggling in the competitive housing market.

“It’s a huge lift for families, low- and middle-income families, who work hard and haven’t been able to qualify for anything in the market,” Fife said.

The dollars will fund diverse housing needs, including homes, homes, and apartments for disabled adults, seniors, and those experiencing homelessness.

“We’re running an incredible shortfall in affordable rents as well as regular units on the market,” Fife said, referring to Pierce County. “So, with this huge cash flow, they have an opportunity to tap into that and make a difference.” plan.

“I think, first, it creates hope in our community that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. And second, instead of talking about it, we’re actually walking on right now,” said John Barbie, Department of Community Services, director of human services for Pierce County.

To put the plan into action, Barbie explained, the county started by hiring a consultant to find out what the need for affordable housing actually was.

“He told us we needed approximately 2,300 units added annually for the next 20 years. So, that was kind of our benchmark and we had to find a way to get that,” Barbie said. “There is still $12 million in unmet needs out of the $29 million of our application. So, we’re hoping to put some resources in place. We’ve created this waiting list and we’re just going to close it.”

Development projects in the early stages of construction. Habitat for Humanity has two developments in Tacoma, with the goal of completing at least one of them within two years.

Even though the boycott is $12 million off the annual goal, Barbie finally said this new opportunity is an encouraging start. Soon, it’ll be a fresh start for families longing for a place to call their own.

“It’s safe for their kids,” Fife said. “They won’t move their families every six to 12 months because of the high rent. These kids will enjoy stability in their classrooms, with their peers.” “Parents didn’t realize how stressed they were and how it affected their relationship with their kids, their jobs. But when they had the chance to really breathe and know this house was theirs, it made a huge difference in the world.”

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