Pacifica’s deep experience working in affordable housing finance has positioned the firm at the forefront of housing policy conversations at the national, state and local levels. Nationally, through industry organizations and Washington’s congressional delegation, Pacifica lawyers have worked on federal proposals to improve, extend and expand the tools used to finance affordable housing, including the low-income housing tax credit and private activity bonds. Pacifica attorneys have been active participants in discussions regarding the long-term preservation of tax credit properties.
With Pacifica’s help, Washington was the second state in the nation to establish a private activity bond volume cap recycling program that enables the State to stretch that constrained resource. At the state level, Pacifica lawyers frequently participate in drafting and commenting on all types of legislation affecting affordable housing. During her two terms as Chair of Washington State’s Affordable Housing Advisory Board, which provides advice on housing policy to the Department of Commerce and the legislature, Faith Pettis oversaw the research and delivery of the first statewide Affordable Housing Needs Assessment in 2015. As the housing need continues to increase, the Washington State Legislature has responded with new taxing authority, increased funding to the State’s Housing Trust Fund, and incentives to encourage local jurisdictions to plan for and increase affordable housing. Pacifica lawyers are frequently called upon to review, comment, and testify on housing proposals.
Pacifica lawyers also participate on local housing policy boards. Faith Pettis was appointed by the Mayor of Seattle as Co-Chair of the City of Seattle Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA), the citizen task force convened to make recommendations to address Seattle’s housing affordability crisis, and also served on the subsequent Affordable Middle Income Housing Advisory Council convened by the Mayor of Seattle. Jon Jurich served as a member of the HALA Medium Density Focus Group.
Together with partners in the public and private sector, Pacifica lawyers continue to dedicate time to exploring new ways to create housing of all types. They are committed to expanding and diversifying available resources and financing tools.