For Release on November 2, 2018
THA and CWD Investments Set Aside 7 Initial Vacancies for Displaced Homeless Tiki Residents; NW Furniture Bank, Associated Ministries, Comprehensive Life Resources Provide Furniture for them and Homeless TCC Students
After helpful discussions with Tacoma Tenants Organizing Committee, Tacoma Housing Authority, (THA) CWD Investments, and Tacoma Community College (TCC) have agreed to reserve seven initial vacancies at Highland Flats (formerly Tiki Apartments) for previous Tiki residents displaced in April by the reconstruction and who are presently or near homeless. They will share the building with homeless or near homeless TCC students housed by THA and TCC’s College Housing Assistance Program (CHAP), a unique program in the nation that won an award for innovation from the Harvard Kennedy School. NW Furniture Bank (NWFB), Associated Ministries (AM) and Comprehensive Life Resources (CLR) will help all these households furnish their apartments with their innovative program and partnership.
TACOMA, WA – October 31, 2018: In an October 11, 2018 press release THA and CWD Investments announced their partnership to add the 62-unit Highland Flats (formerly the Tiki Apartments), to THA and TCC’s innovative program to house homeless or near homeless TCC students. Shortly afterward, the Tacoma Tenants Organizing Committee (TTOC) released its press release. Its press release stated that the arrangement did not benefit previous Tiki residents displaced by the reconstruction. While this is not quite correct (the proposed arrangement reserved units not occupied by TCC students for other extremely low-income persons, which could include previous Tiki residents) the press release correctly noted that THA and CWD did not consult TTOC. THA, CWD, and TCC regret that oversight and want to be responsive to TTOC’s concerns. TTOC’s press release was timely since contract negotiations were still underway. Upon receiving it, THA, CWD, and TCC contacted TTOC and learned seven (7) previous Tiki residents remained homeless. THA, CWD, TCC, and TTOC found a solution and have agreed to reserve 7 of the initial vacancies for them if they qualify. Any of these vacancies that these former Tiki residents do not occupy, and all other vacancies, are reserved for homeless or near homeless TCC students. Other extremely low-income households, which could include still other Tiki residents, may apply for vacancies not taken by TCC students. NWFB, using its innovative program will help these households furnish their apartments. AM and CLR will help them pay NWFB’s modest fee.
THA and TCC’s College Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) provides THA rental assistance to homeless or near homeless TCC students, most of whom are parents of young children. Harvard’s Kennedy School recently named the CHAP among the nation’s top 25 most innovative governmental initiatives for 2018. (Learn more about the Harvard award, visit goo.gl/ZMFfTV) (For CHAP information visit tacomahousing.net/CHAP) The expansion of their CHAP partnership to Highland Flats will add new housing units just down the street from TCC’s campus. In this way, Highland Flats supplements other properties that THA has purchased within walking distance of the campus, all available to these TCC students.
● THA will provide the owner with an annual subsidy of $560,000 to make the apartments affordable to low-income households ($420 per month for a one bedroom apartment).
● All applicants for housing at Highland Flats - TCC students, previous Tiki residents, and others - must be eligible for THA’s assistance and must pass the THA approved owner’s screening criteria and pay the subsidized rent.
CWD Investments, which recently purchased the Tiki, has made a substantial investment in a long overdue rehabilitation to make Highland Flats, not only affordable with THA subsidies but also safe and attractive. In this way, CWD has made a large, necessary, and timely investment in Tacoma’s housing stock.
“THA and TCC are very pleased to welcome CWD Investments to their partnership. They thank the Tacoma Tenants Organizing Committee. Not consulting the Committee initially was an oversight. The Committee helped THA, TCC and CWD understand the continuing need of previous Tiki residents and helped the discussions to accommodate them,” said Michael Mirra, THA Executive Director. “We are also grateful to the Northwest Furniture Bank, Associated Ministries and Comprehensive Life Resources for helping all these households furnish their new homes at Highland Flats.”
This partnership between THA and CWD Investments uses an innovative THA property subsidy. THA offers this subsidy to other property owners and invites their interest. (Learn more at tacomahousing.net/rfp). THA is especially interested in subsidizing properties near public schools or colleges in Tacoma.
Tacoma Housing Authority
Tacoma Community College
Natalie Quick for
NW Furniture Bank
Comprehensive Life Resources
About Tacoma Community College
Since opening in 1965, TCC has provided a high-quality, affordable education to more than 500,000 people. Serving Tacoma and Pierce County, online students, and the women’s prisons, TCC educates about 13,000 students annually. Many TCC students are the first in their families to attend college. 58 percent receive financial aid, 13 percent have children, and 48 percent work while in school. TCC finds innovative ways to help students. Since launching its Open Educational Resources initiative in 2011, TCC has saved students collectively more than $5 million on textbooks. Designated an Achieving the Dream Leader College, TCC provides a model for other schools seeking to engage students and boost completion rates. TCC is also one of 67 colleges selected nationally to participate in the Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell pilot program, educating incarcerated persons. Designated as Military Friendly College®, TCC is proud to serve Pierce County’s military community. In fall 2018, the college will open a food pantry on campus to support students experiencing food insecurity. For more information about TCC go to www.tacomacc.edu.
About Tacoma Housing Authority
Since 1940, Tacoma Housing Authority has provided high-quality, stable, and sustainable housing and supportive services to people in need. It does this in ways that help them prosper and help our communities develop equitably. THA develops, manages and rents housing. In partnership with thousands of private landlords, it helps families pay the rent in the private rental market. It delivers supportive services to help families succeed as “tenants, parents, students, wage earners, and builders of assets who can live without assistance.” THA seeks to do its work to help Tacoma be “safe, vibrant, prosperous, attractive and just.” To learn more about THA, go to www.tacomahousing.org.
About NW Furniture Bank
NW Furniture Bank helps restore hope, dignity and stability in our community by recycling donated furniture to people in need. Willing furniture store partners and local donations provide a steady source of furniture which would otherwise end up in the dump or sold at a loss. We serve victims of domestic abuse, people suffering loss from fire and natural disasters, foster children and especially families coming from transitional housing who are trying to rebuild their lives. To learn more about NW Furniture Bank go to www.nwfurniturebank.org
About Associated Ministries of Tacoma Pierce County
Associated Ministries is an interfaith organization that engages the communities of faith to address the many needs in Pierce County through advocacy, education and service. To learn more about Associated Ministries go to www.associatedministries.org
About Comprehensive Life Services
CLR offers accessible community-based behavioral health services, guided by recovery-oriented principles and best practices, for Pierce County adults and youth. To learn more about Comprehensive Life Resources go to www.comprehensiveliferesources.org