Tacoma Pierce County Affordable Housing Consortium
- Amanda DeShazo, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Membership-based – members are nonprofit housing providers and other agencies that have a stake in affordable housing in pierce county, including construction firms, builders, banks, architects and more.
- Group does advocacy for affordable housing.
- Do lunch and learn – find coming events at https://www.facebook.com/TPCAHC/
- Foundations center – about grant writing
- Advocacy is our most important work. I sit on the Continuum of Care, work with the Pierce County Council, City of Tacoma Council - all city councils in the community really. Try to change policy to get more affordable housing build.
- Was on the technical advisory team for the City of Tacoma affordable Housing Action Strategy ( https://www.cityoftacoma.org/government/city_departments/community_and_economic_development/housing_division/affordable_housing_action_strategy ) – that group is reconvening to start working on implementation. Need a local source of funding for local housing (have you all thought about taxing rich people? Or rich companies? How about an alternative minimum tax for corporations? Just a thought. –ed).
- The consortium is working to pass a levy for affordable housing – in 2020 perhaps. It is very grass roots, and we would like help pushing that initiative (you can count on the Coalition. –ed).
- Theresa – Given that you work with the City – have you looked at the stuff Councilmember Chris Beale put out about equity? Amanda – yes, we are very supportive of that. Theresa - I understand it was pulled at the last minute. There was concerns that some of the language in it was duplicative of the affordable housing action strategy. We would like some of the equity language put back in – councilmember Beale is pushing the equity elements.
- Nathan – do you folks do anything around eviction prevention? Amanda – many of my members are landlords – The Tacoma Housing Authority is one of our members. Our consortium took a position – it was a difficult conversation because of the role landlords play in the consortium. We worked on the language for the Tacoma Landlord tenant act – with a lot of support from the membership. Nonprofit affordable housing providers have a lot to learn still. I worked with Michael Mirra and other stakeholders on the laws that passed. We walk a tough line with so many landlords and the mission of serving people in poverty. In connection with Center for Community Change – looking to get them working with the Tacoma Tenants Group.
- Maureen – given the disparate points of view with organizational members in the consortium, how do you come to an advocacy agenda or principle? Amanda – thanks for that question. We formed 3 active committees – public education, membership, and advocacy. It is tough to get our outward facing communication out. Have an admin assistant working on the website. We set our agenda at our advocacy committee meetings. We take our lead from the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance. With session over, will do some candidate forms – working on the affordable housing action strategy plan.
- Carlos – does the consortium support just cause eviction? Amanda – we support “good cause” – but have lots of education to do.
- Al – What do you do outside the City of Tacoma? Amanda – when I came on board, that was an interest of the board. I’m working with Puyallup. We’ll do a Puyallup candidate forum. It is always a challenge to have capacity, as a one person shop. The members of the consortium have concerns outside of the Tacoma – and I’m trying to go countywide.
- Theresa – you attend a lot of meetings. What is the difference between “just cause” and “good cause”? Amanda – “Just Cause” and “good cause” are the same – we were supportive of the 4 month time limit and implementing “just cause”. Theresa - Everyone understands just cause, and introducing good cause is very confusing. Amanda – that was the decision of the advocacy committee.
- Part of the Pierce County agenda – you probably followed the legislative session – House Bill 1406 for State taxes for affordable housing (https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1406&Initiative=false&Year=2019 )- Derek Young is working on it for the County. That bill was one of the bills he was adamant to get passed. I’ll try to send more information out – the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance has a webinar about implementing it (find the recording at https://www.wliha.org/resources/webinars-and-tools ). I’ll follow up after the 10th of June.
- Maureen – individuals can also be members of the Consortium. Amanda - $25 for low income, $80 for other individuals. The Consortium has some 50 member organizations. We have member networking events. We are building up more of the member benefits, building up the website. If you want to join, the information is on the webpage – the money goes to support our advocacy work.
- Maureen – the City and the County are reviewing the rental housing code. We don’t need the State to implement rules. We advocated for just cause with the 4 month window. The City of Tacoma Council is looking at doing a study. Tacoma Housing Authority has done a review, as well. That is a good question for a candidate forum, if you do them.
- Maureen – rent control – should we do a conversation on that? Amanda – we are looking at that conversation. (this would be a fun discussion, and something that I suspect is going to be frequently discussed over the next year. This recent article is a good primer around rent control efforts in Washington state - https://www.seattleweekly.com/news/would-rent-control-work-in-washington/ –ed.)
- Nathan – appreciate the landlords giving ground. Molly Nichols – big shoes to fill – she did so much of that work. Tenant organization is really important – I’d sign up for the Tacoma tenant org june 10th 5pm some church – need an active tenant organization – which depends on the committee members.
- Maureen – who did you hire as an executive assistant? Amanda - Britany Clark – who has a Masters in Public Administration.
- James – what can we help you with? Amanda – advocate for more funding – especially related to the 1406 work with Derek Young. Also the countywide Mental health tax – we need to support that work.
- Sign up for the Affordable Housing Consortium Newsletter (there is a link at the bottom of https://www.affordablehousingconsortium.org/ ) If you have ideas on Lunch and Learn topics, let me know.