FAQs

Renting an apartment

Where and how do I apply to rent an apartment?

First, use the “Find an Apartment” tool to obtain a list of available units that fit your household size and income. Next, contact the Resident Manager for your chosen building to schedule a viewing of the unit. If you like the apartment, the Resident Manager will assist you in applying for the unit.  See Appointment Preparation for what to bring with you.  Note: The apartment search function is not set up for potential applicants with Section 8 Vouchers.  Please contact the Resident Manager for help in determining available units for which you might qualify.

If you need assistance in understanding the Resident Qualifications or in searching for available units, please contact any of our Resident Managers or send an email to bellwether@bellwetherhousing.org.

What do I need to qualify?

Please follow this link to the Rental Information page.

Do Bellwether buildings allow pets?

Some Bellwether buildings currently allow certain pets.  Bellevue/Olive, Cambridge, Casa Pacifica, First & Vine, Genesee, Gilmore, John Winthrop, Mercer Court, Meridian Manor, Olive Tower, Oregon, Rose Street, Security House, Stewart Court, Stone Way, Tate Mason House, and Vine Court all accept cats and dogs (75 lb. limit).  Bellwether accepts cats only at Graham/Terry, Sterling Court and Victorian Row.  Approval for certain other small household animals may be requested in writing.  Bellwether limits the number of pets to two (2) per apartment.  Each pet must be accompanied by a $300 refundable deposit, proof of inoculations, proof of spay/neutering, and a current license.  Residents must agree to and follow the Bellwether Pet Policy.  All Bellwether buildings accommodate approved service animals.

Is there a fee to apply?

The only cost to apply is a non-refundable screening fee of $30.00 for each adult applicant and $10.00 for each child ages 14-17 years old.  Payment must be by Money Order, Cashier’s Check or Personal Check only; no cash accepted.  The fee is solely to cover the cost of screening your application, including a credit check, rental history and public records check.  Minors are screened for public records only.

See the Fees & Deposit Schedule.

Can I have a co-signer?

Bellwether does not accept co-signers on leases. All applicants must individually meet qualifications.

Do you accept Section 8?

Yes! All Bellwether buildings are within Seattle Housing Authority (PorchLight) jurisdiction; King County Housing Authority vouchers are not valid.  We will need verification of a Section 8 voucher. Applicants with Section 8 certificates must still meet all resident qualifications.

Can I be on a waiting list?

Waiting lists are kept for subsidized units for very low-income households.  We are currently accepting applications at First & Vine, Judkins Park, Security House, and Meridian Manor.  Each list has different eligibility requirements.  Please contact the Resident Manager at the building for information about eligibility.  For all other available units, we work on a first-come, first-served basis.

How are income “caps” determined?

Our apartments are built or purchased with requirements to rent them to households that are within certain income levels. Those levels are determined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD adjusts the income levels or “caps” annually. Do You Qualify?

General Bellwether information

What resources does Bellwether offer?

Bellwether provides individuals and families with a wide range of affordable housing options in downtown Seattle and surrounding neighborhoods, near employment and on transit routes.

Are you subsidized?

Bellwether provides affordable housing, not to be confused with subsidized public housing. We depend on the rents we collect to pay the apartment building’s expenses. There is no government organization behind Bellwether to pay operating costs. We do have some subsidized units at several buildings that are the exception to this.

Are there agencies like Bellwether outside of Seattle?

Bellwether is a single, private non-profit organization. HDC, the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County (206-682-9541, www.housingconsortium.org) can direct you to other King County resources.

Do you provide emergency shelter?

Bellwether provides only permanent rental housing. For a list of organizations that provide emergency shelter contact the Community Information Line by calling 2-1-1.

Do you provide monetary rental assistance?

Sorry, no.  For a list of organizations that offer financial assistance contact the Community Information Line by calling 2-1-1.

How can residents help keep rents down?

Residents can help keep expenses low by: conserving use of water, recycling efficiently, keeping garbage out of recycling containers, keeping common areas clean and damage free, taking good care of their apartments and just generally taking an interest in the building.

Do you have any job openings?

Any job openings are listed in the Employment section of this web site.

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News Feed

501 Commons and Bellwether’s Emergency Preparedness Plan Recognized

America’s Service Commissions (ASC) and Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP) have recognized the joint efforts of 501 Commons and Bellwether Housing. During 2013, both organizations worked to create emergency preparedness plans for three of Bellwether Housing’s apartments: Security House, Kingway Apartments, and Tate Mason Apartments. Consultants with Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) acted as liaison to [...]

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By Zemzem Ainan, Bellwether’s Administrative Assistant. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program commonly referred to as SNAP, is a federal aid program that provides food purchasing assistance for people who are low-income or have no income. SNAP is the largest nutrition assistance program and its caseload has increased substantially as a result of the recent economic [...]

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