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City of Tacoma Considers Getting Into Flipping
The City of Tacoma is looking at the idea of getting into the house flipping business.
A proposal being shopped around at the Council committee level would have the City buy, rehabilitate, and resell derelict properties.
The proposed single family residential blight abatement program to address the problem of derelict and blighted single-family residences was presented at the July 15 City Council Neighborhoods and Housing Committee meeting.
Tacoma’s Code Compliance and Housing Division would partner on the project, with the Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority purchasing select homes identified by Code Compliance as problem properties with the potential for rehabilitation. Once rehabilitated, the homes would be sold to income qualified buyers.
The proposal is for the initial $800,000 in funding for the pilot project to come from existing federal CDBG and HOME funds. Depending on initial program success, profits from the sale of rehabilitated properties could be rolled back into the program, and into supporting other affordable housing programs in Tacoma.
Council members on the Neighborhoods and Housing Committee understandably had a lot of questions about the program, so the issue will be back before the committee with further details.
Staff also raised the problem of sustainable funding for City affordable housing programs. With HUD and other funding sources shrinking, if Tacoma is to maintain housing programs, the division will need to begin to look at ways to recycle the funding it has, rather than acting as a pass-through to other agencies as it has in the past. This is an attempt to be entrepreneurial, staff said, to recapture value and address blight in Tacoma’s neighborhoods at the same time.
There’s got to be a reality show in this somewhere… maybe “Real Flippers of Pierce County” ... maybe not.
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