Press Release

THA and CWD Investments Set Aside 7 Initial Vacancies for Displaced Homeless Tiki Residents; NW Furniture Bank, Associated Ministries, Comprehensive Life Resources Provide Furniture for them and Homeless TCC Students

November 2, 2018

After helpful discussions with Tacoma Tenants Organizing Committee, Tacoma Housing Authority, (THA) CWD Investments, and Tacoma Community College (TCC) have agreed to reserve seven initial vacancies at Highland Flats (formerly Tiki Apartments) for previous Tiki residents displaced in April by the reconstruction and who are presently or near homeless. They will share the building with homeless or near homeless TCC students housed by THA and TCC’s College Housing Assistance Program (CHAP), a unique program in the nation that won an award for innovation from the Harvard Kennedy School. NW Furniture Bank (NWFB), Associated Ministries (AM) and Comprehensive Life Resources (CLR) will help all these households furnish their apartments with their innovative program and partnership.

TACOMA, WA – October 31, 2018:  In an October 11, 2018 press release THA and CWD Investments announced their partnership to add the 62-unit Highland Flats (formerly the Tiki Apartments), to THA and TCC’s innovative program to house homeless or near homeless TCC students. Shortly afterward, the Tacoma Tenants Organizing Committee (TTOC) released its press release. Its press release stated that the arrangement did not benefit previous Tiki residents displaced by the reconstruction. While this is not quite correct (the proposed arrangement reserved units not occupied by TCC students for other extremely low-income persons, which could include previous Tiki residents) the press release correctly noted that THA and CWD did not consult TTOC. THA, CWD, and TCC regret that oversight and want to be responsive to TTOC’s concerns. TTOC’s press release was timely since contract negotiations were still underway. Upon receiving it, THA, CWD, and TCC contacted TTOC and learned seven (7) previous Tiki residents remained homeless. THA, CWD, TCC, and TTOC found a solution and have agreed to reserve 7 of the initial vacancies for them if they qualify. Any of these vacancies that these former Tiki residents do not occupy, and all other vacancies, are reserved for homeless or near homeless TCC students. Other extremely low-income households, which could include still other Tiki residents, may apply for vacancies not taken by TCC students. NWFB, using its innovative program will help these households furnish their apartments. AM and CLR will help them pay NWFB’s modest fee.

THA and TCC’s College Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) provides THA rental assistance to homeless or near homeless TCC students, most of whom are parents of young children. Harvard’s Kennedy School recently named the CHAP among the nation’s top 25 most innovative governmental initiatives for 2018. The expansion of their CHAP partnership to Highland Flats will add new housing units just down the street from TCC’s campus. In this way, Highland Flats supplements other properties that THA has purchased within walking distance of the campus, all available to these TCC students.

  • THA will provide the owner with an annual subsidy of $560,000 to make the apartments affordable to low-income households ($420 per month for a one bedroom apartment).
  • All applicants for housing at Highland Flats – TCC students, previous Tiki residents, and others – must be eligible for THA’s assistance and must pass the THA approved owner’s screening criteria and pay the subsidized rent.

CWD Investments, which recently purchased the Tiki, has made a substantial investment in a long overdue rehabilitation to make Highland Flats, not only affordable with THA subsidies but also safe and attractive. In this way, CWD has made a large, necessary, and timely investment in Tacoma’s housing stock.

THA and TCC are very pleased to welcome CWD Investments to their partnership. They thank the Tacoma Tenants Organizing Committee. Not consulting the Committee initially was an oversight. The Committee helped THA, TCC and CWD understand the continuing need of previous Tiki residents and helped the discussions to accommodate them. We are also grateful to the Northwest Furniture Bank, Associated Ministries and Comprehensive Life Resources for helping all these households furnish their new homes at Highland Flats.

Michael Mirra, THA Executive Director

This partnership between THA and CWD Investments uses an innovative THA property subsidy. THA offers this subsidy to other property owners and invites their interest. (Learn more about our current bids and proposals.) THA is especially interested in subsidizing properties near public schools or colleges in Tacoma.