Passing classes and paying for tuition aren’t the only challenges facing college students. For some homeless and low-income students, finding affordable housing while pursuing a higher education is especially exacting. A 2014 study completed by UW Tacoma showed 14 percent of the school’s students were housing-insecure.
A partnership between the Tacoma Housing Authority, Kōz Development, and the Associated Students of UW Tacoma aims to alleviate the issue.
Kōz on Market, a new 8-story, 104-unit apartment building located at 1554 Market Street — just steps from UW Tacoma’s downtown campus — offers 52 units of new and affordable apartment homes for extremely low- or low-income individuals, with half of those units reserved for homeless students.
In addition, UW Tacoma will help students pay for their security deposits and screening fees.
The partnership and the apartment building stem from an incentive provided by Tacoma Housing Authority, which offers rental subsidies to market-rate and nonprofit owners of housing who agree to rent some of their apartments to households with low-incomes.
Michael Mirra, Tacoma Housing Authority’s executive director, noted his organization’s main job is to provide or finance affordable housing for Tacoma residents who need help to afford a home — especially if it helps residents or their children succeed in school, while also helping Tacoma’s public schools and colleges educate low-income students.
“(Kōz on Market) is a very good use of a scarce Tacoma Housing Authority dollar,” Mirra added. “We are very proud to partner for this purpose.”