City of Lakewood First to Join Intergovernmental Affordable Housing Initiative

South Sound Housing Affordability Partners will work to address local housing affordability

LAKEWOOD, Wash. – On Tuesday, July 20, the City of Lakewood became the first government to formally approve an intergovernmental agreement to participate in the South Sound Housing Affordability Partners (SSHA3P).

As stated within the agreement, “the most efficient and effective way (sic) to address access to affordable and attainable housing needs in Pierce County is through cooperative action and pooling (sic) resources to create a larger scale of activities than any one Party could accomplish on their own.”

 “Lakewood is has been proactive on this issue – we help with tax exemptions, construction grants, nonprofit land acquisition, rental and mortgage assistance, and housing repair and major rehabilitation. We can’t solve the current housing crisis by ourselves, but by joining together with other Pierce County municipalities, I remain hopeful Lakewood can do its part to help solve this problem.”
– Dave Bugher, Assistant City Manager, Community & Economic Development Director

Entry into this agreement is one of many current endeavors by the City of Lakewood to address housing affordability. Recent zoning decisions and subarea plans, including the Lakewood Station District subarea plan, invite greater density and intend to increase housing inventory.

Overhead image of the Lakewood Station District from Google Earth. The Sounder Station is towards the lower-right corner.

Community outreach regarding workforce development prioritizes introductions to high-demand, living-wage career opportunities. The City’s rental & mortgage assistance program provides emergency relief to families struggling from economic effects of the pandemic. The City also offers programs for down payment assistance and major home repair assistance.

The City of Lakewood’s Comprehensive Plan states that governments may use regulatory means to influence the supply and affordability of new housing, and identifies housing affordability as an important goal for the City.

 “Housing costs have outpaced wage increases for a long time in the Puget Sound.  This opportunity to collaborate with other governments to preserve existing affordable housing, build new units, and refine regulation will help ease the severe strain on our residents.”
– Tiffany Speir, Long-Range Planning Manager