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City-County agreement will yeild 81 homes for low-income households

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Nearly three acres of land that has been vacant for 15 years will be developed for mixed income housing under an agreement between the city of Tacoma and Pierce County.

The county agreed to transfer the property on Pacific Avenue in Tacoma based on a proposal by Mercy Housing Northwest. Pierce County acquired the parcel in 2000 as part of a larger deal to develop county facilities, but those plans never materialized. It had been declared surplus in 2007.

Under the agreement, Pierce County will transfer 2.90 acres at 3561 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma to the city of Tacoma/Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority. TCRA owns the adjacent land.

The development would include 81 units for lower-income households. At least two-thirds of the housing units would be earmarked for those whose household incomes are at or below 80% of the area median income or have an annual income of $57,750 for a three-person household. Also part of the proposal are plans for an early learning center and community space.

The agreement allows the property to be used as a temporary shelter through Dec. 31, 2023. The arrangement can be renewed for two-year periods until development begins, but if no permits are issued within eight years of the land transfer, the property returns to Pierce County.

In a release announcing the agreement, Pierce County Council Vice Chair Marty Campbell stated, “To help address the challenges we face related to the housing crisis in the region, we asked for a review of county-owned properties with the intent to find a path with our partners to see more housing built. This agreement carries out a shared priority between the county and city to increase affordable housing in the region and provide economic development in our neighborhoods.”

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