Faculty Advisor

Kessel, Alisa

Area of Study

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Publication Date

Summer 2019


While rapid growth and development brings great opportunity to Tacoma, it also brings great challenges. Among these challenges is housing affordability. In response to this challenge, Tacoma developed an Affordable Housing Action Strategy that was released in September 2018. One recommendation from the strategy was an affordable housing property-tax levy. Tacoma had attempted a local housing levy in 2001 and 2005 but failed in both cases. Despite these failed attempts, communities throughout Washington, including Seattle, Bellingham, and Vancouver succeed in passing a housing levy. This research investigates these three successful campaigns throughout the state in order to uncover what made them successful as well as an investigation into Jefferson County's failed attempt. The findings suggest that successful campaigns have a history of success, recognized need, good timing, a strong campaign team, practical messaging, adequate campaign resources, a strong coalition, and weak or nonexistent organized opposition.


Summer research


University of Puget Sound