Tacoma Housing Authority Increases Minimum Employee Wage To $32 An Hour

Date Published: 
September 11th, 2023

From Tacoma Housing Authority's press release:

At a regular meeting of the Tacoma Housing Authority’s (THA) Board of Commissioners, the Board voted to approve a resolution that increases the minimum hourly wage for all THA employees to at least $32 per hour.

Much thought was given to the newly agreed upon minimum wage of $32 an hour. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Tacoma is $1,643. To afford this level of rent and utilities without paying more than 30% of income on housing (a housing wage), a household must earn $5,477 monthly or $65,720 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this income level translates to a minimum hourly housing wage of $31.60.

In June of 2022, THA pulled data that showed roughly 60% of its full-time staff were earning less than an hourly housing wage. A pay bump for employees making less than a housing wage was initially proposed as one of THA’s strategic objectives adopted by the Board in September 2022. Now, all 174 THA employees will earn a housing wage.

“All of our employees contribute to our mission of providing stable and sustainable housing for all, yet many of our team members have struggled to pay their bills or find housing they can afford in the city we ask them to work,” said Tacoma Housing Authority Executive Director April Black. “We work to find solutions to housing insecurity and poverty; we cannot afford to contribute to the problem.”

The lowest paid workers at THA will now be making substantially more than the competitive market rate, and it is the hope of the THA leadership team that this increase will have a positive ripple effect throughout the job market of Tacoma and the local economy. Simply put, THA believes that everyone should be paid enough to pay their bills, take care of their families, and focus on their vitally important work.

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