The South Sound Housing Affordability Partners (SSHA3P) is a voluntary collaboration among 15 member governments to work together to create and preserve affordable, attainable, and accessible housing throughout Pierce County.

“The State of Housing Affordability in Pierce County,” presented by Dr. Ali Modarres, UWT

Affordable housing is a complex issue, requiring significant regional and metropolitan level attention. There are very few cities that can claim to have succeeded in solving this problem. However, the policy toolkit to engage with this particular challenge has grown over the last few decades. Given the diminishing role of the federal government in building and financing affordable/social housing, it has fallen to tribes, states, counties, and cities to tackle this challenge on their own or through collaboration. The State of Washington and Pierce County governments are no exception. Meanwhile, as the number of cost-burdened households has increased over time, the resources needed to tackle this problem at the local level have proven inadequate. For that reason, regional approaches and collaboration with for-profit and nonprofit developers have become necessary.

Furthermore, among the limited local sources of support for affordable housing developers, surplus land, multifamily tax exemptions and a variety of incentive zoning have become more frequently deployed to increase the number of affordable housing units. However, as this report will highlight, this has not been the case in our region.