THA's 2016 Community Report (Oct 2017)

Thank you for your interest in learning more about Tacoma Housing Authority's impact in our community during 2016



Message from the Executive Director:

Tacoma Housing Authority’s main job is to house people in need. THA does this in three main ways. First, it builds, buys and rebuilds housing that it rents. Second, it helps to finance and develop housing for nonprofit organizations that share our mission. Third, it helps households pay rent on housing they lease from private landlords. This work is important, and challenging. Yet, it is not the harder part of THA’s job.
The world knows how to design housing, finance it, build it and manage it. The world knows how to run rental assistance programs. The world does not know quite as much about the next part of THA’s job. This next part seeks to spend a housing dollar, not only to house people, but also to get two other things done. First, we seek to help people succeed, not just as tenants, but, as our vision statement contemplates, as “parents, students, wage earners and builders of assets.” We want this certainly for adults, but emphatically for children because we do not wish them to need our housing when they grow up. Second, we seek to help our communities succeed, and to help them do so equitably. We invest to make neighborhoods attractive places for all to “live, work, attend school, shop and play” and to help our communities be “safe, vibrant, prosperous, attractive and just.” The world does not know quite as much about how to do that. THA and its many partners try to find it out. When we succeed, it is a very good use of a housing dollar.
In this work, we must face longstanding questions about poverty, the effect of place on a family’s prospects to escape it, and how a housing dollar can help. This work entangles us in issues of economic justice, racial justice, individual responsibility, community development and how housing fits. We and our partners see these questions up close. That makes this work challenging. Sometimes we see the answers. That makes this work meaningful.
THA is a board of five volunteers and 130 staff. These include real estate development experts, property managers, maintenance specialists, rental assistance staff, caseworkers, accounting specialists, clerks, asset and risk managers, compliance officers, IT wizards, data and policy analysts, program planners, and human resource managers. Perhaps most poignantly, they include receptionists who politely and respectfully welcome people in need seeking our help. We also rely on many partners, public and private, who make our work possible.
I invite you to learn about THA and its work. I hope this report helps you do that. 
Executive Director, Tacoma Housing Authority




Friday, October 27, 2017