Tacoma Housing Authority awarded $1.9M HUD grant for Hilltop community center

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $1,881,652 to the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) to construct an early childhood education and adult training facilities for public housing residents in the Hilltop neighborhood of the Tacoma.

The Tacoma Authority was one of just five public housing authorities that received part of the $14.5 million awarded today.

THA will use its grant to construct an 8,500 square-feet, two-story building on housing authority property at the corner of 27th and Yakima near the Hillside Terrace public housing complex in the city’s Hilltop neighborhood. When completed, the facility will provide early childhood education, adult education and job training. Partners identified include Bates Technical College, Tacoma Goodwill and Tacoma Public Schools.

“Every community needs a center, especially a place where people, young and old, can gather, improve the skills they will need to attain the goals they have for their futures,” said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride. “The Tacoma housing authority has long worked to expand the educational and employment opportunities of their residents and this grant will greatly enhance its already considerable efforts.”

“This new center will help Tacoma Housing Authority and its community partners extend our efforts to invest in new construction in the Hilltop neighborhood. Through the center, THA will advance its emphasis on education for residents of all ages,” said Michael Mirra, THA executive director.

HUD’s Capital Fund Education and Training Community Facilities (CFCF) Program provides funding to public housing authorities for the construction, rehabilitation, or purchase of facilities that will offer early childhood education, adult education and/or job training programs. It is designed primarily for public housing residents, but can be utilized by residents in the surrounding community. The purpose of the facilities is to offer comprehensive, integrated education and employment services to help public housing residents achieve long-term economic self-sufficiency.

HUD requires successful applicants to illustrate their ability to get firm financial commitments to leverage the HUD grant by at least 5 percent. These applicants were also required to identify at least one education and/or training supportive service provider, such as a community college, that would partner with the housing authority to provide the education and employment services the facility. All of the grantees surpassed this requirement by forming partnerships with many local organizations in the community.