Help is coming in the form of a new program aimed at Tacoma Community College’s homeless student population and those struggling to find affordable housing.
The new partnership with the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) called, “College Housing Assistance Program,” provides $150,000 per year for up to three years. The vouchers fund housing for students enrolled full-time at TCC. Voucher amounts will vary based on family size and other factors.
Mary Chikwinya, Vice President for Student Services, has been working out the partnership agreement with THA representative Michael Powers since THA approached college staff about a possible partnership last summer. THA has a similar program at McCarver Elementary School.
“They have a successful project implemented in the Tacoma School district K-12 system, and we would be their first college,” said Chikwinya.
The program is designed for current TCC students who are not in a stable housing environment. Rental assistance will be provided by way of vouchers that will help the participant pay rent on an apartment or house.
Eligibility will be based on Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rules and TCC’s satisfactory academic progress standards. TCC will also run mandatory financial literacy workshops with the help of the nonprofit organization MDC with staff they already have located on campus.
Once the application process closes, a screening committee will review them and decide who qualifies.
Additional information is available at www.tacomacc.edu/housing.
“We are very excited about this new partnership with the Tacoma Housing Authority,” said Chikwinya. “This innovative approach to providing housing assistance will assist members of our community in reaching their academic goals and help families to become self-sufficient.”
TCC’s Dean of Counseling and Advising, Shema Hanebutte, serves as the lead for this project and is the primary contact for questions.