Saturday, May 26, 2007

Recap for May 13, 2007

Charhys’ Story: Lesson- encourage people in the things they are best at and give them space and time and choices on how to achieve dreams.

Tom- Housing Affordability

Tom began by telling us that growth management imposes on local jurisdictions how densely developed a community will be. Pierce Co. is in the process of updating its growth plan. In Tom’s opinion, there is a need to press the issue of affordability in this plan rather than making it an afterthought.

Have to design into the community a life for people who cannot afford to live in the economy. Level of pricing considered affordable is 200K for a house. A 25 member task force of building, planning, activists, non-profits, government to work under growth management and land use regulations was given 6 months (but took 18) and operated under consensus to develop recommendations, not implementation. The task force was charged with addressing the housing needs of all, but with particular attention to low income residents. Considerable time was spent on the depth and complexity of problem.

They reviewed income and housing data, affordable housing strategies in other areas, etc. and developed a broad set of recommendations to increase affordable housing. They got endorsements from the PC Exec and Council. Next is to get the cities and towns to agree to share the burden.

What learned:

64% of households are occupied by homeowners
34% by renters

Housing is affordable if no more than 30% of income is spent (on either rent or mortgage)

Housing wage that is necessary to rent a 2 bed apt. was $14.88/hour

The median hourly wage for renters was $10.67

The minimum wage was $7.63 per hour

37% of renters and 27.5% of owners were paying more than 30% of their income for housing.

31% are cost burdened.

The median price of a home in PC is $273,000-- an increase of 12.8% over prior year

Pierce Co, has highest concentration of mobile homes (40% of state)

Question—will strategies create concentrations of low income housing—projects?

We need to be asking developers to make their projects 30% affordable

Need the 22 cities and towns to share responsibility for adding affordable housing.

Peter’s band Kusikia is touring. Check out their site at

Christopher (Marla’s son) has a band, rock, soul, R&B

Rosalind will have a play in the Double Shot Theater Festival at UPS this week.

Chrestina asked by UWT to sit on a committee re disability and campus expansion

Steve and Kristy are doing a house concert next Sat. at Colleen’s house

Martha Nussbaum at Tacoma Campus on Tuesday as part of the Cal Anderson Memorial Lecture Series

Soulfest 7-9pm May 18th Bldg 11. Music, poetry and dance at TCC

Community Fair at Tacoma Campus May 19th

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