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21 Anti-Displacement Actions for Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing: 21 Anti-Displacement Actions

February 20, 2024

The City of Tacoma affirmed and adopted its Anti-Displacement Strategy on February 6, 2024. This strategy builds on five years of implementing the Affordable Housing Action Strategy and will be incorporated into that work, adding 21 policy and program options the City can take to address a lack of affordable housing and the displacement of local Tacoma residents. The policy and program actions in the Anti-Displacement Strategy are divided into the original four Affordable Housing Action Strategy objectives: Create more homes for more people; Keep housing affordable and in good repair; Help people stay in their homes and their communities; and Reduce barriers for those who often experience them.



1.1: Affordability Incentives – Offer and/or expand a range of incentives to developers in exchange for them adding affordable units into otherwise market-rate developments—height and density bonuses, reduced parking requirements, tax and fee reductions, additional permitting support, and additional allowed units are some incentive examples.

1.2: Expand Inclusionary Zoning – A mandatory version of affordability incentives, where developers are required to include a certain number of affordable units in their otherwise market-rate developments. Research shows this type of mandatory program works best in areas with more dense development. It is considered more risky than voluntary affordability incentives, but also has the potential to produce a higher total number of affordable units.

1.3: Down-payment homebuyer assistance – Tacoma’s program began in 2023. It provides homebuyer education programming and down payment assistance to lower-income first-time homebuyers to purchase a home in Tacoma.

1.4: Adding an Additional Unit to a Structure or Parcel – Promote the development of ADUs and DADUs to support and spread affordable housing across Tacoma through financing to low-income homeowners to build an ADU or DADU, or financing higher-income homeowners and requiring them to rent the unit to a low-income Tacoma resident.

1.5: Short-Term Rental Regulation – Research and document the potential impacts from the short-term rental market in Tacoma and determine if it is causing significant displacement. If so, the City could take further action to regulate which units can and cannot be rented on short-term rental platforms.

1.6: Land Banking – Purchasing land or buildings in priority areas of Tacoma to develop affordable housing.





2.1: Preservation Ordinance – Prioritizes resources to assist with keeping apartment buildings affordable if a property owner sells a building that meets certain predetermined high-priority criteria.

2.2: Right of First Refusal Policy – Paired with a Preservation Ordinance, it would give certain affordable housing developers a set amount of time in which they would be able to purchase a building at market rate before the building goes on the open market in order to offer the units at affordable prices.

2.3: Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) – Similar to a Right of First Refusal Policy, a TOPA helps tenants of a building for sale form a housing cooperative to purchase the building collectively.

2.4: Housing Preservation Fund – Create a dedicated source of funding that the City and its partners use to acquire properties or offer low-interest financing to keep rents stable, make property improvements, and extend or attach affordability periods to these properties.

2.5: Improve the livability of existing owner-occupied homes – An existing Tacoma program, this helps low-income homeowners pay for needed house repairs so that they can stay in their house long-term.

2.6: Proactive Rental Inspections – Helps mitigate rental properties that may cause displacement because of health and safety concerns by conducting inspections before a unit becomes no longer fit for habitation.

2.7: Support Efforts to Create or Expand a Community Land Trust (CLT) – The City could seed a CLT with startup money and potentially fund some operating costs to aid a CLT in selling or renting homes with various restrictions in order to maintain long-term affordability.

2.8: Financial Support for Landlords – Offer tax incentives, grants, or low-interest loans for the maintenance and rehabilitation of unsubsidized affordable rental properties in exchange for rents kept at affordable rates for a set number of years.





3.1: Rental Housing Code – A program already in place, the City could pursue a regular review and revision schedule to respond to rental market changes and trends.

3.2: Tenant Relocation Fund – An existing program that provides relocation assistance of $2,000 to eligible tenant households to assist with moving costs when they are displaced due to demolition, substantial rehabilitation, or a change in use of their rented residence.

3.3: Housing Assistance – The City currently provides financial assistance and programs to help people stayed housed through a variety of third-party contracts that work directly with at-risk Tacoma residents.

3.4: Utility Assistance – Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) and Environmental Services currently offer utility assistance for income eligible households through several different programs to reduce utility costs.

3.5: Mortgage Assistance and Foreclosure Prevention – Financial assistance paid directly to the loan servicer, bank, or mortgage company of households who live in the city limits of Tacoma and who may be behind on their mortgage or at risk of foreclosure.





4.1: Community Prioritization Policy – Give priority to applications for subsidized housing or down-payment assistance to previously displaced households, descendants of previously displaced households, households displaced due to urban renewal projects, or households currently at high risk of displacement.

4.2: Housing and Land Reparations – By modeling other programs under development throughout the U.S., conduct detailed research on the impacts of historic housing discrimination in Tacoma, conduct local community outreach, and explore possible local funding sources to identify possible forms of recompense.