Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Putting Views Into Action

Per our earlier post regarding the so-called "Miller Amendment", the Tacoma City Council's Neighborhoods & Housing Committee will continue their exploration of this topic at their next meeting, August 8th.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber has weighed in on the City Council's decision to maintain, amend or abolish the Miller Amendment--in real terms, deciding whether or not to continue City Council oversight on subsidized housing projects. The City's original adoption of this process came in response to the Chamber's request (based itself upon the requests of downtown business and property owners) to limit the number of "below market" projects and allow downtown's demographics to become more balanced over time.

"Ten years later", the Chamber observes, "we submit that the effort has been successful and that downtown demographics are becoming more balanced as a result. Despite this progress, downtown is not there yet. Downtown's demographics are still significantly skewed to lower income, and even the plethora of projects currently in the pipeline--should they all come to fruition, which is in no way certain--won't alter the profile enough to bring about the desired balance.

"Downtown also lacks any comprehensive housing strategy that would provide a vision for its future development", the Chamber concludes; "lacking this kind of guidance, the best that the City of Tacoma can do may be to let the market seek equilibrium without any subsidies."

Councilmembers Baarsma, Fey, Manthou and Stenger need to hear from members of the downtown community regarding this issue. We'll post results here as they become known...


  1. Alot of people have come out against lifting the Miller amendment.

    Hopefully, the council support trying to have a properly integrated housing policy both for each unit with a 80/20 split and for each area of the city.

  2. Here's the New Tacoma Neighborhood Council Report detailing the problems in the area many of us are concerned about. There were around 50 people at the meeting.