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February 21, 2024

60 low-income housing units take shape in Tacoma

Rendering by Schemata Workshop [enlarge]
The development comprises two brand new buildings with 60 one-and-two-bedroom units between them.

A church-backed low-income housing project is currently under construction in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood. The project, called New Life Housing, is developed by Shiloh Baptist Church on land it owns across the street from its current church building.

Two residential homes have been demolished to make way for the new development which will have a total of 60 units.

Those will serve individuals in recovery for substance abuse, formerly homeless persons, those leaving the criminal justice system, persons with disabilities, and veterans earning no more than 30% or 50% of Area Median Income.

The units will be split between two brand new buildings, located adjacent to one another but built on separate parcels. The first building, addressed at 815 S. 13th St., will be 12,480 square feet and house 17 one-bedroom apartment homes. The second, at 1206 S. I St. will be larger with some 34,184 square feet and 23 one-bedroom and 20 two-bedroom units.

The smaller building is designed to be transitional housing for individuals or families.

The church says it is developing the project to combat gentrification in the Hilltop neighborhood. The community will also offer supportive services for residents, including skill development and opportunities for education and growth. These will be provided by Believing In Myself Again (BIMA) Services and the federal Department of Veterans Affairs in coordination with BIMA.

Seattle-based Schemata Workshop has designed New Life Housing. Marpac Construction, also based in Seattle, is the general contractor. Construction is expected to be completed in December.

In a statement sent to the DJC, Marpac said it “is proud to build New Life Housing in partnership with Shiloh Baptist Church.” “This project will help to address the deep need for affordable housing serving individuals and families in the Tacoma Hilltop Neighborhood,” the contractor said.

The New Life Housing project team also includes Beacon Development Group, which is serving as project consultant, and the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA). Shiloh Baptist Church has served the Hilltop Community since 1953 and, with some 900 members, is one of Tacoma's preeminent Black churches.

With the assistance of THA, the church has leveraged several public funding sources along with tax credits and traditional financing to construct the project. The project is primarily funded by a $14.6 million loan from KeyBank's Community Development Lending and Investment platform.

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