The Tacoma Pierce County Association of Realtors (TPCAR) believes home ownership needs and opportunities must be at the heart of Phase 2 of Home in Tacoma. Home ownership provides countless benefits to our communities, and to the homeowner as well.
While public comment is reviewed, and the next phase of Home in Tacoma is shaped, TPCAR would like the City's Planning Commission to consider adding several new tools to increase the opportunity for home ownership in the City of Tacoma. Some of those tools should include fee simple estates and transfer of development rights as methods creating the housing inventory Tacoma is in dire need of.
Fee simple estates and the opportunity to transfer development rights are underutilized practices that will spur development of new and attainable housing throughout the city. Fee simple estates allows for large, oversized lots to be broken down into multiple smaller lots, creating multiple sizeable houses in place of what was once a larger property, providing housing for multiple families in place of a lone house. These types of developments can and should be done in a manner consistent with the character of Tacoma's neighborhoods.
Transfer of Development Rights can also serve as a creative path forward to increasing housing stock in the city of Tacoma. TDR programs can allow for development rights to be bought and sold on an independent market. For example, development rights can be sold in a rural region and in turn a developer can purchase these rights in order build more than the zoning base density in an urban region. Making a measurable impact on the housing deficit in Tacoma will require implementing new methods of development like the ones listed above. Our membership at TPCAR believes these practices are great tools for providing access to attainable housing in Tacoma.
Increasing the number of owned homes in Tacoma is not only paramount to ensuring the City remains one where opportunities for all exist, but can benefit all residents. Home ownership is shown to lead to a reduction of crime in the community, improvement in civic engagement of community members, increases the success of children in schools, and can contribute to an overall healthier public. Personal wealth can also be increased through home ownership - the average homeowner has $255,000 in personal wealth versus only $5600 for non-home owners.
The Tacoma Pierce County Association of Realtors stands ready to be a resource to the City's Planning Commission and we are prepared to offer expertise through our membership to help inform the commission as to how Phase 2 can successfully integrate new housing supply and more homeownership opportunities in Tacoma.