For several years, THA, the Hilltop community, and other local groups have been planning for the changes coming to the Hilltop due to the installation of the light rail. While there are benefits from this investment, the community also clearly identified fear of losing its cultural identity, losing housing affordability and retail space no longer being affordable to small and BIPOC businesses. THA is making efforts to address these concerns in its Housing Hilltop development.

Housing Hilltop is THA’s largest affordable housing project since New Salishan and will include:

  • 231 affordable housing units.
  • 13,000 square feet of commercial retail space, including a 10,000-square-foot performing arts and community gathering space.
  • Housing policies that will allow households that have been displaced from the Hilltop to return to the neighborhood.

We expect to open the South building, with 94 affordable housing units, in the spring of 2024, with the north building and its 137 units completing by the end of the year.

THA is working with Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center (TUPAC) to lease the performing arts space, and we will prioritize BIPOC businesses to rent the other spaces. These spaces will likely be places where the community can watch performances like they have never seen before, shop, eat, and interact with business owners and neighbors contributing to the fabric of the community.

The project is supported by $1.9 million from the city of Tacoma and $3 million in federal funds secured by Congressman Derek Kilmer and Senator Maria Cantwell. The federal funds will help build the commercial space on the property, with approximately $1 million available to help BIPOC businesses complete the necessary tenant improvements that turn a “shell” into a real useable space.

North Building

Housing Hilltop’s North Building is located along South L Street, bounded by South 10th Street to the north and 11th to the south.

Project render of the North building looking northeast from 11th and L streets.

I wanted to not only give Tacoma something to look at in awe of the color within the summertime foreground. But also give a piece of me and my artistic travels to the city that raised me. If I can leave something with Tacoma forever, then it is the happiness these colors have brought to me.

— Lourdes Jackson | artist

Property Features

  • 137 Affordable Housing Units, including:
    • 50 1-bedroom units
    • 29 2-bedroom units
    • 50 3-bedroom units
    • 8 3-bedroom 2-story units
    • 7 units will be accessible
  • 58 Parking Stalls
    • 7 Accessible Stalls
    • 12 Electric-Vehicle Ready Stalls
  • 98 Secure Bike Parking Stalls

Building amenities include:

  • West-facing street-level courtyard
  • East-facing level 2 courtyard
  • Common room adjacent to the street-level courtyard
  • Common laundry room adjacent to the Level 2 courtyard
  • Media/Computer room
  • On-site Property Management

South Building

The South Building is at the southeastern corner of 11th and L streets, directly across 11th Street from the North building.

Project render of the South building, looking southeast from 11th and L streets.

These buildings will have a ripple effect on the community, so my goal was to create a voice for this building that is unique, intriguing, and inspiring.

— Jeremy Gregory | artist

Property Features

  • 94 Affordable Housing Units
    • 30 1-bedroom units
    • 54 2-bedroom units
    • 5 3-bedroom units
    • 5 3-bedroom 2-story units
    • 5 units will be accessible
  • 45 Parking Stalls
    • 11 Accessible Stalls
    • 9 Electric-Vehicle Ready Stalls
  • 75 Secure Bike Parking Stalls

Building amenities include:

  • East-facing level 2 courtyard
  • Common room adjacent to the residential lobby
  • Common laundry room adjacent to the Level 2 courtyard
  • On-site Property Management


Housing Hilltop used an outcome-oriented planning process to leverage the shared histories and inherent strengths of neighborhood residents, businesses, and local institutions to build a collective platform for local actions which promote equity and prosperity. 

During the process, several focus areas were identified, including: “Open Space and Recreation,” “Community Identity,” “Housing and Jobs,” “Mobility,” and “Health and Wellbeing.” Residents provided input into several potential short- and long-term actions within each category and asked to identify what they felt would best benefit their neighborhood.

The Housing Hilltop process is part of a continuous system. As the neighborhood progresses, more work needs to be done.

311 Video: “Neat Little Rows”

In partnership with Tacoma First 311, Active8 Hilltop and Foster’s Creative, THA created a video showcasing the stories of residents in the Hilltop neighborhood.

“Neat Little Rows” won Best Overall Film during the 2018 Hilltop Street Fair.