Introducing Housing Hilltop
Housing Hilltop was an outcome-oriented planning process designed to:
- Deliver new affordable housing and supportive services to the Hilltop community; and,
- Build upon the social capital and organizational infrastructure needed to set goals, measure progress, and implement course corrections in the neighborhood on an ongoing basis.
- Establish a framework to set goals, measure progress and build upon the opportunities to collaborate creatively on innovative solutions.
Broadly, the objective is to leverage the shared histories and inherent strengths of neighborhood residents, businesses, and local institutions to build a collective platform for local actions which promote equity and prosperity.
During the process, several focus areas were identified, including "Open Space and Recreation," "Community Identity," "Housing and Jobs," "Mobility," and "Health and Wellbeing." Residents provided input into several potential short and long-term actions within each category and asked to identify what they felt would best benefit their neighborhood. New development, including tall buildings, is welcomed on the Hilltop, as many see this as a sign of growth and prosperity in the area. However, there is a strong belief the only developments to be fostered are ones which do not displace current residents.
The Housing Hilltop process is part of a continuous system. As the neighborhood progresses, more work needs to be done to ensure.
The THA Team, together with Homework Group Members, developed five Focus Areas to assist in analyzing neighborhood opportunities and challenges and structuring recommendations for development which may offer synergies beyond typical planning silos. Measurement and Operations are important actions to ensure follow through on planned outcomes and actions.
In partnership with Tacoma First 311, Active8 Hilltop and Foster's Creative, the Tacoma Housing Authority created a video about the Hilltop Neighborhood. The video, "Neat Little Rows" also won "Best Overall Film" during the 2018 Hilltop Street Fair. This project was made possible by a TacomaFirst 311 grant. One of the goals of the grant is to find creative ways to encourage people to use 311 and foster community and communication in neighborhoods that were not utilizing 311 services. Hilltop was one area that was under-represented in the use of 311.
On Hilltop, we live almost on top of each other—in houses and apartments like building blocks, placed in neat little rows. And though we’re close in proximity,
we often lack the true connection that only happens when we meet, open up and live intentionally with our neighbors. Together with TacomaFIRST 311, we set out to tell the story of 3 neighbors from different walks of life whose random interactions and everyday connections help viewers see that we’re much more alike than we think, and we can always be more connected than we are.