The Affordable Housing Consortium along with its members and partner developers has penned the following letter to Pierce County Council in support of Ordinance 2022-81, the sales tax for affordable housing:
Dear Executive Dammeier and Pierce County Council Members,
We are grateful for your consideration to adopt Ordinance 2022-81, the 1/10th of 1% sales tax to support affordable housing. This funding will have a significant impact on our community’s ability to increase the production of critically needed affordable homes for the residents of Pierce County. More robust local public funding will leverage additional local, state, and federal resources that will result in the construction of significantly more affordable housing.
Leveraging local public funding is a necessary tool for financing both permanent supportive housing and affordable workforce housing projects. These projects require multiple capital funding sources to support the cost to produce high-quality housing with affordable rents. Funders like the Washington State Housing Finance Commission and the State Department of Commerce look to local funders to prioritize projects in their community and to commit local resources to demonstrate their commitment to a project. An increase in local resources will create significant leverage from these sources and will produce a significant increase in the number of units that can be produced.
Not only is leveraging important – but many of our state funding decisions are made based on committed dollars. For example, before a developer can request an allocation of 4% tax credits/multifamily bonds or 9% tax credits from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, developers often must have other funding for the project committed. Currently, Pierce County can only support one tax credit project a year, which is not enough. Passing Ordinance 2022-81 will allow permanent supportive housing and affordable workforce housing projects to be much more competitive in the Commission’s highly competitive processes.
We simply cannot wait, and we urge Council to pass this ordinance to support its community members who are desperately in need of housing. Thank you.
Amanda DeShazo, Tacoma-Pierce County Affordable Housing Consortium
Loren Cohen, MC Construction
Robin Corak, Multi-Service Center
Joey Launceford, Inland Group
Marc G. Cote, Parkview Services
Jenifer VanGerpen, Vintage Housing
Flo Beaumon, Catholic Housing Services of Western WA
Jeremy Wilkening, Shelter Resources, Inc.
Patti Spaulding Klewin, GMH Communities
Nicholas Carr, Tacoma Housing Authority
Ben Ferguson, Ferguson Architecture
Sharon Lee, Low Income Housing Institute
Jim Stretz, Pierce County Housing Authority
Patrick Tippy, Horizon Housing Alliance
Zac Baker, Southport Financial Services