Elected officials, housing and service providers, and community members joined together on 19 July 2023 to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Copper Way multifamily housing community in Spanaway. The Copper Way project, the first recipient of Pierce County’s new affordable housing fund, marks a significant step forward in addressing the affordable housing crisis in the region.
Copper Way, developed by the Inland Group in collaboration with the Metropolitan Development Council, will provide 256 affordable units for residents earning 60 percent or less of the area median income. The project is a testament to the power of public-private-nonprofit partnerships in creating sustainable housing solutions for the community.
Pierce County stepped in to provide critical gap funding of $4.5 million towards the Copper Way project. This grant signifies the first allocation from the newly established affordable housing fund, which was made possible through a 1/10 of one percent sales tax increase approved by the county in March. Primary funding for the project came from the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit and Tax-Exempt bond programs, administered by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, and the Evergreen Impact Housing Fund. The Evergreen Impact Housing Fund’s low-interest, long-term loans play a vital role in bridging financing gaps and enabling the realization of affordable housing projects.
“This is the very first investment of the Maureen Howard Affordable Housing Act dollars and it could not go to a more exciting project. Creating 256 new truly affordable homes for families is an opportunity that does not come around often,” said Councilmember Ryan Mello. “I am grateful to the Inland Group and all the funding partners for investing in high quality affordable housing in Pierce County. This project will support so many families in need of a safe, healthy place to call home and I could not be more thrilled.”
Copper Way’s strategic location near shopping and a future Bus Rapid Transit line will offer residents the opportunity to thrive within their local community.
Upon completion, Copper Way will comprise 256 thoughtfully designed garden-style apartments. A notable feature of this community is its focus on accommodating families, as 81 percent of the units will have two or more bedrooms. All units will be available to individuals and families earning 60 percent or less of the area median income, making Copper Way an inclusive and vibrant living environment.
- Developer: Inland Group
- Project Name: Copper Way Apartments
- Location: Spanaway / 194th and Mountain Highway (Hwy 7)
- Number of Units: 256 (3 manager units)
- Income Restrictions: All units restricted to households with incomes at or below 60% of Area Median.
- Project Cost: Approx $83M
- County Investment: $4.5M – Project was funded off the 2022 application waitlist under ordinance 2022-81s
- Other Funding: Private debt and 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit Equity
- Financing Closed in June 2023
The groundbreaking ceremony serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts of elected officials, housing and service providers, and community members who are united in their commitment to addressing the critical need for affordable housing. The Copper Way project stands as a beacon of hope and progress, providing a foundation for a stronger and more equitable future in Spanaway.