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Tacoma-Pierce County Affordable Housing Consortium Kicks Off 2nd Annual Pierce County Affordable Housing Week




Over 20 businesses and organizations come together across 15 events to promote cross-sector partnerships to address affordable housing challenges in Pierce County


TACOMA, WA – April 24, 2024 – This May, the Tacoma-Pierce County Affordable Housing Consortium (TPCAHC) invites the community to unite for a cause that stands at the heart of societal well-being: affordable housing. Led by TPCAHC and scheduled to take place from May 6th through 10th, Pierce County Affordable Housing Week is an opportunity for private, public, and non-profit entities to come together and strive toward innovative affordable housing solutions for all.


In a region where 52% of Pierce County residents struggle to afford housing, this annual event is a beacon of hope and a crucially important call to action for continued investments in affordable housing in Pierce County. "Affordable housing is essential to all civic interests" serves as this year's rallying theme, emphasizing the critical role of affordable housing in enhancing community welfare across various civic sectors, including education, child welfare, public health, transportation, and racial and social justice.


Amanda DeShazo, Executive Director of TPCAHC, underscores the event's mission: "Affordable housing is not just about having a place to live; it's the foundation upon which vibrant communities are built. By hosting a series of insightful sessions throughout Pierce County Affordable Housing Week, we aim to shift perspectives and highlight the profound impact of affordable housing on all civic interests. Through cross-sector partnerships, we can work together to ensure that everyone in Pierce County has access to safe, stable, and affordable housing."


The week-long schedule features a dynamic array of workshops, panel discussions, and hands-on activities designed to foster dialogue, share knowledge, and catalyze action.


Highlights include:


Moving Forward: Linking Transportation Equity to Affordable Housing (Virtual Panel - May 8) with panelists:

  • Tammy Apthorp, Community Development Coordinator, Pierce Transit

  • Jordan Rash, Senior Project Manager – Transit Oriented Development Planning, Environment and Project Development, Sound Transit

  • Laura Svancarek, CTR & Advocacy Manager, Downtown on the Go

Healthy Homes, Healthy Communities: The Intersection of Housing and Public Health (Virtual Panel - May 7) with panelists:

  • Rob Olsen, Supervisor, Social, Economic, and Environmental Conditions for Health, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

  • Gabe Ash, Director of Housing and Homelessness Services, Catholic Community Services

  • Tonia Hess, Director of Housing and Care Management, Metropolitan Development Center


Coffee Chat with Tacoma Housing Authority’s Executive Director, April Black (Virtual Discussion - May 7)


Equitable Housing: Advancing Social Justice Through Affordable Housing Solutions (Virtual Panel - May 8) with panelists:

  • Corey Orvold, Lead - Managing Broker, Tacoma Urban League

  • Adria Buchanan, Executive Director, Fair Housing Center of WA

  • Aimee Khuu, Executive Director, Tacoma Community House


Opening Doors: Empowering Black Homeownership Across the Continuum (Virtual Panel - May 8) with panelists:

  • Champagne Lewis, Broker Realtor, eXp Realty - The Jones Collective

  • Corey Orvold, Lead - Managing Broker, Tacoma Urban League

  • Maureen Fife, Executive Director, Tacoma-Pierce County Habitat for Humanity

  • Amy Hoyte, Executive Director, Rebuilding Together South Sound


Affordable Housing Walking Tour of Tacoma’s Hilltop & Celebration (Tacoma Housing Authority, 902 S L St, Tacoma, WA 98405 - May 8)


Film Screening “Unzipped: An Autopsy of American Inequality” & Community Conversation w/ the Director (The Grand Cinema, 606 Fawcett Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402 - May 8)


Coffee Chat with an Affordable Housing Developer: Southport Financial Services’ Development Consultant, Zac Baker (Virtual Discussion - May 9)


Safe and Stable: Supporting Children and Families through Affordable Housing (Virtual Panel - May 9) with panelists:

  • Taj Jensen, Director of Student Services, Title /LAP and Special Education Department, Tacoma Public Schools

  • Greg Williamson, Housing Manager, WA State Department of Children, Youth, and Families

  • Emily Slagle, Executive Director, Communities in Schools


Affordable Housing Week Networking Reception (Edison Square, 5415 S Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 98409 - May 9)


Pierce County Community Land Trust Conversation (Greater Christ Temple Church, 1926 S G St, Tacoma, WA 98405 - May 10) with panelists:

  • Jessie Baines, Jr., President, Pierce County Community Land Trust

  • Reggie Brown, CEO, Louis Rudolph Homes LLC

  • Dawa’son Goes Behind, Community Member


Legislative Forum: Community Land Trusts & Supporting Black Developers (Greater Christ Temple Church, 1926 S G St, Tacoma, WA 98405 - May 10) with special remarks from:

  • Senator Yasmin Trudeau, 27th Legislative District

  • Representative Sharlett Mena, 29th Legislative District


Beyond Campus Walls: Affordable Housing and Higher Education (Virtual Panel - May 10) with panelists:

  • Tamyra Howser, Vice President, College Relations, Tacoma Community College

  • Kit Do, Resource Navigator, Tacoma Community College

  • Samantha Dana, Associate VP for Institutional Effectiveness, Clover Park Technical College

  • Joe Lawless, MBA, Chief Strategy Officer, Office of the Chancellor, University of WA - Tacoma

  • Roseann Martinez, MSW LICSW, Assistant Director for Student Advocacy and Support, Department of Student Engagement, University of WA - Tacoma


With support from Title Sponsor, US Bank, most of these events are free and open to the public. Participate in Pierce County's Affordable Housing Week and join a community dedicated to building a brighter, more inclusive future for all. Together, we can ensure that affordable housing is recognized as a fundamental right and a critical component of a vibrant, thriving community.


About Tacoma-Pierce County Affordable Housing Consortium: The Tacoma-Pierce County Affordable Housing Consortium is a membership-based non-profit comprising over 60 housing organizations, businesses, government agencies, and advocates working to address the critical need for affordable housing in Pierce County.


For more information on Affordable Housing Week and how to get involved, visit www.tpcahc.org or contact Amanda DeShazo, Amanda@tpcahc.org.


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