City of Tacoma announcement.
TACOMA, Wash. — Mayor Victoria Woodards and the Tacoma City Council joined U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Regional Administrator Margaret Salazar to announce that Tacoma has joined House America: An All-Hands-On-Deck Effort to Address the Nation’s Homelessness Crisis.
“The House America Initiative is a unique opportunity to join communities across the country to leverage federal funding and resources, to provide affordable housing in our communities focused on the needs of our more vulnerable populations who may be at risk of experiencing homelessness,” said Mayor Victoria Woodards. “Homelessness is a national issue, and I am thrilled that our federal partners are supporting communities across America who have been tackling this issue for years.”
House America is a national partnership in which HUD and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) invite mayors, county leaders, Tribal nation leaders, and governors to use the historic investments provided through the American Rescue Plan to address the crisis of homelessness through a Housing First approach by immediately re-housing and building additional housing for people experiencing homelessness.
House America leverages funding from the American Rescue Plan, federal, state, and local resources to re-house at least 100,000 households experiencing homelessness and add at least 20,000 new units of affordable housing into the development pipeline by December 31, 2022. Within those national goals, communities will set and achieve local re-housing and unit creation goals.
HUD’s homeless assessment report found that there were 1,005 sheltered homeless individuals in the local area, 405 of whom are from Tacoma. COVID-19 has created greater urgency to address homelessness, given the heightened risks faced by people experiencing homelessness. At the same time, COVID-19 has slowed re-housing activities due to capacity issues and impacts on rental market vacancies.
“We are proud to partner with Mayor Woodards and the City of Tacoma on this important work,” said HUD Regional Administrator Margaret Salazar. “Our region especially knows the challenges of getting people indoors with the severe housing crisis; under the Mayor’s leadership I know the City will continue to innovate and prioritize affordable housing.”