2019 Annual Report
So much has changed since we began 2020, and I find it almost surreal to place myself back in 2019. But I am very happy for this opportunity to reflect on what was very real last year - Bellwether was busy building stable communities, providing families with access to opportunity, and giving people a place to call home.
Susan Boyd, CEO
Susan Boyd, CEO
Writing the introductory letter for our annual report is always an exercise in reflection. We send this report out after our financial statements for the year have been fully audited, which typically doesn’t happen until summer of the following year. So we are always sharing with you the activities and events of a year we left behind several months ago.
This year, it feels less like a reflection and more like the retelling of a dream.
I feel happy when I wake up. It’s a weight off the shoulders to have the ability to save money and be able to actually live your life again.
Pictured here with Anuar and Kita the pup in their apartment at The Parker.
A Shared Future in Queen Anne
Anuar & Diana's Story
When Anuar and Diana decided to move in together, finding a home wasn’t easy. They needed an apartment close to downtown, with enough space for the couple and Diana’s young son Julian, near good schools, transportation, and parks. It also had to be affordable on Anuar’s salary as a baker. *
After several months of searching, they found the perfect two-bedroom apartment at The Parker Apartments in the Queen Anne neighborhood.
Fanose and her children; having fun in the hallways; the community room at Arbora Court.
A Year Later at Anchor Flats and Arbora Court
In 2018, Bellwether opened Arbora Court, in the University District, and Anchor Flats, in South Lake Union. Both buildings have great access to transit, neighborhood amenities, schools, and job centers. But our vision went beyond creating 200 new homes in great locations. We envisioned residents weaving into neighborhood life and building community. During 2019, this goal came to life as residents settled into their new homes.
The roof deck at Anchor Flats has been transformed into a lush garden, pictured below.
Our 3rd Annual Putt Putt featured clever costumes, mini golf, and tasty beer from four Ballard breweries.
Thanks to our amazing Putt Putt teams and breweries, we raised $1,960 to support our Resident Services Coordination Program!
Building Opportunity Launch
200 guests joined us at the Amazon Spheres to kick off the Building Opportunity Campaign. Guests learned how to invest in affordable housing. We ended the night with $2.4M pledged.
Building Opportunity Reaches Goals
In 2019, Bellwether Housing launched the Building Opportunity, a campaign to raise $9M to build 750 new apartments through donations, grants, and impact investments.
The campaign, which was originally set to span three years, hit several milestones this year.
At Real Estate Emerging Leaders (REEL), industry professionals joined us for a lively happy hour.
In partnership with Puget Sound’s leading commercial real estate organizations, the event raised over $16,000 for Bellwether!
Bellwether Entrusted with Two Buildings
UCHA transferred Mary's Boathouse and Sortun Court to Bellwether
With staff and board retiring, University Congregational Housing Association (UCHA), an affordable housing operator, chose to dissolve their nonprofit. UCHA wanted to entrust their mission and legacy of providing affordable housing. That’s why they transferred two properties to Bellwether Housing. Sortun Court and Mary’s Boat House are small affordable apartment buildings, mostly with larger family-sized two and three-bedroom apartments. Bellwether is honored to assume ownership of these buildings and continue to steward them.
Closer to Home
Our largest and most successful event yet, the 9th annual Closer to Home Luncheon welcomed over 700 supporters and raised $430K.
Nikole Hannah-Jones delivered a powerful speech in which she challenged us to confront and address segregation in Seattle:
"White people created segregation, have maintained it, and have to undo it."
2019 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work
Actions & Accountability
In 2019, we continued our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work, with a focus on anti-racism. Our 2019 initiatives included:
Recruitment and Compensation
We started listing salary ranges for every job we post to increase gender and racial pay parity.
We stopped asking for and using pay history as the basis for salary offers. By using this practice in the past, we perpetuated pay disparity for people of color, women and people with disabilities. We stopped asking for salary history in 2019 and we corrected compensation disparities in 2020.
500 beer lovers packed Hale’s Palladium to support affordable housing.
Friends and neighbors enjoyed donated beer from ten Ballard breweries, listened to live music, and raised over $16,700 for Bellwether!