Maureen Howard Affordable Housing Act will Generate $20 million Per Year
The act will implement a countywide one-tenth of one percent sales tax increase for affordable housing and related services in Pierce County, which is expected to generate $20 million in revenue a year.
The funding will be used for programs and projects for people at or below 60% of the Area Median Income of Pierce County and have behavioral health conditions, are veterans or senior citizens, persons who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless, unaccompanied homeless youth or young adults, persons with disabilities, or are domestic violence survivors.
“This revenue source will give us access to much needed resources to help those in need of an affordable place to live, including our veteran community and those fleeing abusive, and often deadly situations at home,” said Pierce County Council Chair Ryan Mello, PSRC’s Transportation Policy Board Vice-Chair. “This Act will also help those who get up every day for work, but simply can’t find affordable housing in Pierce County. This Act will help build and preserve 600 – 800 affordable housing units every year in Pierce County.”
PSRC recently completed a Housing Incentives and Tools Survey that showed many jurisdictions in the region are behind in filling gaps in affordable housing and working hard to catch up through subregional partnerships and state and local revenue sources. The Regional Housing Strategy identifies the need to expand local funding options to create affordable homes. The Maureen Howard Affordable Housing Act is a great step in this direction for Pierce County and one that other local governments could consider under Washington State Law.
The Act is named in honor of Maureen Howard, an activist who spent her life advocating for permanent housing and working to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness in Pierce County. She passed away earlier this year.