More low-income seniors in Tacoma, Wash., will have a safe, affordable home, thanks to an $8.2 million grant to Intercommunity Mercy Housing from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The grant is part of more than $650 million that the department announced would go toward helping thousands of very low-income senior citizens and people with disabilities find affordable housing nationwide. Intercommunity Mercy Housing’s award is part of HUD’s Section 202 Capital Advance Program, which works to expand the supply of affordable housing with supportive services for the elderly. Intercommunity Mercy Housing is a nonprofit affordable housing organization with 44 properties in Washington that are home to more than 4,000 residents, including nearly 500 seniors.
Intercommunity Mercy Housing has already acquired a half-acre lot in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood and begun work to prepare the land for construction. This morning, representatives from Intercommunity Mercy Housing, the city of Tacoma and the Washington State Housing Trust Fund celebrated the groundbreaking of the property, New Tacoma Senior Housing. Attendees included representatives from U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s and U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks’ offices, Tacoma Mayor Bill Baarsma and Tacoma Deputy Mayor Julie Anderson.
“Tacoma is in need of quality affordable housing with programs and services for seniors,” said Cynthia Parker, president of Intercommunity Mercy Housing. “With support from HUD and several other funders, we will give Tacoma seniors the opportunity to age in place and stay in the community they know.”
Intercommunity Mercy Housing currently owns and operates four properties with 160 homes in Tacoma, but none of those serves seniors, a population that is expected to increase by nearly 50 percent to 12,000 people by 2020. Seniors already struggle to afford the high cost of living in Tacoma, where the median household income is more than $61,000. More than 40 percent of senior households earn less than $25,000 a year.
“As the economy continues to decline, more and more people are going to need access to affordable housing options, especially very low-income families, seniors and those living with disabilities,” said Cantwell, whose support was critical to receive this funding. “Without affordable housing, many Americans would find themselves living on the street. Now, thanks to this grant, Intercommunity Mercy Housing will have access to funding to provide safe, affordable rental housing in our communities.”
For the full story, go to http://www.mercyhousing.org/Upload/MemberInfo/797.pdf.