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October 12, 2018
Tacoma Housing Authority said on Thursday it will fund 123 units of affordable housing for Tacoma Community College students and other low-income residents and families.
The units will be in three existing buildings: Highland Flats at 1111 S. Highland Ave. (62 units), Olympus Hotel at 815 S. Pacific Ave. (48 units), and Rialto Apartments at 311 S. Ninth St. (13 units).
Highland Flats, formerly the Tiki Apartments, sits just a few blocks from the Tacoma Community College campus.
THA will work with the college's housing assistance program to help homeless or near-homeless students, most of whom are parents of young children.
The apartments were acquired by Seattle-based CWD Investments for $5.2 million April. Under an agreement THA has with the owner, TCC students have the first claim on any vacancy in the 62-unit building. Vacancies not taken by students will be reserved for households earning less than 30 percent of the area's median income, or AMI.
Median household income in Pierce County is $74,600 for four people, according to the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.
THA's annual subsidy for affordable housing at Highland Flats will be $560,000, or $9,032 per unit.
CWD Investments, for its part, plans to rehabilitate the apartments to make them safe and attractive.
“When the idea surfaced with THA and TCC to use this property as a means to house low-income TCC students, we knew it was solution we wanted to be part of,” said Chad Duncan, owner of CWD Investments, in a statement.
In a separate agreement, THA will work with the Korean Women's Association to fund 48 units at the Olympus Hotel. Half the units will serve families at 60 percent AMI, and the rest will be for lower-earning households.
THA's rental subsidy will allow the Korean Women's Association to dedicate more case management time for education and employment programs. The funding will also help to restore the building.
Pioneer Human Services will reserve 13 units at the Rialto Apartments for tenants with incomes below 50 percent AMI using THA subsidies.
Both the Korean Women's Association and Pioneer Human Services responded to THA's request for proposals in August offering rental subsidies to owners who would agree to rent some apartments to households with low incomes.
THA is a public development authority that provides housing or housing assistance to more than 12,000 people, or about 6 percent of Tacoma's population.
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