Pass the HOME IN TACOMA FOR ALL Platform
Tacoma City Council
Tacoma area , and home prices rose 21%. Half of Tacoma renters are “rent burdened,” paying over 30% of their income on housing. This affordability crisis is causing a wave of displacement, harming communities of color and women most. Growing numbers are forced into homelessness.
The profit-driven housing industry has failed us. Wall Street speculators, big landlords, and developers all benefit from the housing shortage, hiking prices to gouge working people. Without major public-sector investments, Tacoma's housing shortage will only worsen as population growth far outpaces private-sector construction.
Puget Sound Energy and developers are poisoning our homes and jeopardizing our climate future. 20% of climate pollution in Tacoma is from homes and commercial buildings, yet PSE and developers are fighting mandates for sustainable energy and building methods.It’s time our elected leaders treat housing as a human right. At all levels of government, affordability, tenants rights, and sustainability must be prioritized over corporate profits. “Home in Tacoma Phase 2”
will be voted on in mid-2023 and offers an opportunity to change course. City Council will face enormous pressure from developers, landlords and fossil fuel interests, but with a powerful grassroots movement we can transform housing policy in Tacoma. We call on Tacoma City Council to pass the "HOME IN TACOMA for All" platform as part of “Home in Tacoma Phase 2”:
AFFORDABLE HOMES for All – Make the Developers Pay
Mandate 25% of new housing be permanently affordable in larger residential construction projects – or make developers pay into an affordable housing fund. This would create up to 215-475 new affordable units annually, or raise $25-57 million for affordable housing.
Establish a public Social Housing Developer to build 10,000 new mixed-income units in ten years, doubling Tacoma's rate of new construction. An SHD is a powerful tool to solve the housing shortage, the affordability crisis, and to create good union jobs building walkable transit-centered communities. Using the city's bonding capacity and construction loans, we can meet this goal with less than 1% of the city’s budget.
STABLE HOMES for All – Pass a Renters Bill of Rights
Stop economic evictions. Tacoma area landlords hiked rents 22% last year, destabilizing neighborhoods and increasing homelessness. When landlords hike rent over 10%, forcing tenants to move, they should pay relocation assistance equal to three-months rent.
Make finding housing easier. Mandate 6-month notice of rent hikes and allow tenants forced to move to break their lease early. Ban application fees and discrimination against renters of all backgrounds. Cap rental income requirements and ban credit checks.
We need rent control! City Council should pass a rent control ordinance to go into effect as soon as the state legislature lifts the ban, putting pressure on Olympia to act.
Robust enforcement of anti-discrimination laws and code violations, funded by a fee levied on all landlords and taxes on short term rentals.
Pass a Tenants Opportunity to Purchase ordinance. When landlords sell rental properties, tenants should have first right of refusal to collectively buy the property, assisted through the City’s bonding capacity and incorporated into a Social Housing Developer.
GREEN HOMES for All – Stop PSE from Poisoning Our Families
Fully subsidize retrofits from gas to clean energy for low-income households with children, installed with union labor. Asthma rates for children are 24-42% higher in homes with gas stoves and other gas appliances. Communities of color and working-class families are harmed most by Puget Sound Energy’s gas-burning monopoly.
Ban natural gas from all new residential construction in Tacoma and create indoor air quality standards, enforced in all rental properties. We need to phase out climate pollution, even as our population grows, by replacing PSE gas with cheaper, sustainable electric energy from Tacoma Public Utilities.
Require building to the highest sustainability standards, reducing “embedded carbon” in construction and future energy costs. Incentivize geothermal and passive solar heating. Mandate ecological landscaping practices.
Tacoma City Council
From: [Your Name]
It’s time our elected leaders treat housing as a human right. At all levels of government, affordability, tenants rights, and sustainability must be prioritized over corporate profits.
We understand Tacoma City Council will face enormous pressure from developers, landlords and fossil fuel interests to reject the transformative policies demanded by grassroots community voices. We call on you stand with the majority of working people in Tacoma by passing the HOME IN TACOMA FOR ALL platform as part of “Home in Tacoma Phase 2.”