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Heron Apartments bring new housing to homeless and low-income in Tacoma

The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) is pleased to announce that the recently purchased Heron Apartments is now fully leased. Located at 1624 E. 32nd St. in Tacoma, this newly constructed apartment building contains 80 studio and one-bedroom apartments for families with children, couples and singles. 50 apartments provide supportive housing for formerly homeless people and 29 apartments provide affordable workforce housing. There is also an onsite manager’s unit.

Housing referrals came from Catholic Community Services, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Puyallup Tribe, Re-establishing Hope, Healthpoint, LIHI, and others. 12 new residents moved in from LIHI’s Tiny House Villages and another 15 from LIHI’s Aspen Court (a former Tacoma Comfort Inn converted to an enhanced shelter in 2021).

New residents spoke about moving in:

"I am so very grateful for my beautiful new apartment. Ashley and Tessa helped me make this a reality and I am so thankful for them and the entire staff at The Heron.” – P.S.

“I have been living on the streets for almost a decade. I lost everything in a fire and lost my home. This is the safest I have felt in a long time. Just thankful.” - M.S.

"I thought I would never find my own housing. In the past case managers have told me I would never be housed on my own. I am housed, with my own kitchen and my own bathroom. It feels really good and I will work to make sure I stay housed." - M.M.

"I am so grateful for everything that LIHI has done for me and the opportunity I have been given to start fresh. I was sleeping in my car in the fall, now, because of The Heron I was housed by winter." - G.H.

A few allowed us to share photos of their apartments:

“We are thrilled to have been able to move in the Heron residents during this cold winter. In addition to providing them a place to live, this also opens up spaces in Tiny House Villages and other shelters so more people can get off the street and out of the cold, said Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director. “Thank you to the City of Tacoma for contributing $3 million toward the purchase of the Heron. This helped leverage $21.3 million from the State Department of Commerce’s Rapid Capital Housing Acquisition Program to purchase the Heron Apartments. Thank you also to KeyBank for providing an acquisition bridge loan.”

Governor Inslee and the State Legislature established the Rapid Capital Housing Acquisition Program in 2021 to address the housing and homelessness crisis during the pandemic. In 2021 with financing from the City of Tacoma, City of Lakewood, Pierce County and the State’s Rapid Acquisition program, LIHI acquired Aspen Court to provide bridge housing for homeless singles and couples.

LIHI’s Alyssa Colville, Hannah Rudnick, and Ashley Spencer showing a Heron unit

“It is amazing to help change so many lives. Our building is full and the journey to get here has been heartfelt and life changing for so many.” – Heron staff

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Alice Florence
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