Tacoma considering help for tenants as rents continue to rise

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TACOMA, Wash. -- Tacoma has some of the fastest growing rents in the nation, which is one reason why the city is considering a plan to help people who may be forced out of their homes.

City leaders are asking the public to weigh in on the plan at a hearing scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 2) inside the Tacoma City Council Chambers.

The issue came to light last spring, when tenants at Tiki Apartments were given just over 20 days notice to move out. That led to a lot of outcry and protests from tenants who said they didn't have enough time -- or resources -- to find another place to live.

Many worried that the move would force them into homelessness.

In response, the city passed an emergency ordinance to help the tenants from Tiki Apartments find and pay for new housing.

The city has since drafted several new proposals to keep people in this type of situation from becoming homeless.

These include:

  • Physical moving costs (moving trucks, etc.)
  • Funds for moving into a new residence, including deposit and first and last months' rent
  • Money for utility connection fees and deposits
  • Rent and utility help for one year after relocation.

The city figures the cost would be about $2,000 for each qualifying unit. It would be funded by the city and landlords.

This is something that other communities will likely be watching closely as they deal with increasing rents.

Residents are encouraged to give their input at Tuesday afternoon's public hearing, or submit them in writing by emailing cityclerk@cityoftacoma.org or in person at the City Clerk’s Office at 733 Market Street, Room 11, Tacoma, by 4 p.m.

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