The following is Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity’s Pierce County Biennial Budget Agenda for 2022-2023.
Create and Fund an Affordable Housing Fund
Habitat for Humanity supports the creation of, and robust funding for, a Pierce County Affordable Housing Fund. This fund would serve as leverage to attract additional funding and expedite the construction of affordable housing projects to attract outside public and private investment. Our organization supports a resolution to create this fund with specific eligible activities and funding priorities (see below), and a 2022-23 biennial budget appropriation of general fund, HB 1406, and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support the development of critically needed affordable housing.
Eligible use activities are: (1) acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation of housing projects or units within housing projects, (2) support building operation and maintenance costs of affordable housing or shelter projects or units within affordable housing projects, (3) operating costs for emergency shelters, permanent supportive housing, and licensed overnight youth shelters, (4) home repair, accessibility modification, and preservation programs, and (5) rental and foreclosure assistance.
Impact Fee Waiver Funding
The Pierce County Affordable Housing Incentives (Chapter 18A.65) allows for permitting, building, and impact fee waivers to be issued for affordable housing units. Any fees waived must be offset by alternative funding. Pierce County originally created its Affordable Housing Incentives program in 2009, including permit and impact fee waivers, but did not fund the fee waiver program until FY 2019.
We ask that the Council ensure the funding of this fee waiver program at a $200,000 level through 2022-2023.
Habitat for Humanity supports the creation of a non-profit, affordable housing developer capacity building fund. This fund would allow Pierce County to invest in, by competitive RFP, affordable housing non-profits’ construction and site development departments to build staffing capacity to add to the affordable housing supply in our communities.
We ask that the Council fund this capacity building at the $500,000 level in the 2022-23 biennial budget.
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