The Tacoma Housing Authority announced it has selected 1,200 applicants for its low-income housing assistance wait list. The organization received a total of 4,883 applications after inviting households of three or more to apply to the wait list during the first two weeks of October 2019. The 1,200 randomly selected households represent the capacity that Tacoma Housing Authority has to serve over the next two years. Applicants were notified whether or not they were selected for the wait list in early November.
Households of three or more people were invited to apply to receive housing assistance, and the 4,883 applications represented a total of 18,979 people. Ninety-three percent of applicants were families with children. Forty-three percent of applicants reported experiencing homelessness, with 12 percent of applicants sleeping in an encampment, a car, an abandoned building, or outdoors the night before they applied. Moreover, 33 percent of applicants work full-time, 21 percent work part-time, while 11 percent are unable to work due to a disability.
In a press release, Tacoma Housing Authority executive director Michael Mirra remarked, “These wait list openings are always a somber reminder of the unmet need in Tacoma and Pierce County for affordable, safe, and stable housing. These applicants are parents who cannot afford rent on a full-time wage, and certainly not on disability income or public assistance. Their children struggle in school because their families must move often. These applicants are college students who struggle to balance parenthood, work, and homelessness. The ones THA randomly chooses for assistance are the lucky ones.”
Those selected for the wait list will become eligible to rent a Tacoma Housing Authority-owned apartment or receive a Housing Opportunity Program voucher, which replaced Section 8. The organization typically opens its wait list every two to three years.
The Tacoma Housing Authority was established in 1940. By developing and managing real estate and partnering with private landlords, the nonprofit works to provide high-quality, affordable housing to persons in need. To learn more about the Tacoma Housing Authority’s work, visit their website.