construction2.jpg

About Bellwether

We create stable communities and access to opportunity through affordable housing.

 

Mission & Vision

Bellwether Housing creates stable communities and access to opportunity through affordable housing. We develop and manage homes for people with limited incomes near job centers, transit, and services. We amplify our impact by helping other organizations in the Puget Sound region do the same. We envision diverse communities where people of all incomes and backgrounds share in the prosperity of our region. 

Staff 1990_edited_edited_edited.jpg
 
 

History

Bellwether Housing was founded in 1980 to create housing in downtown Seattle so city workers could live close to their jobs. After over 40 years of success and growth, Bellwether is the Puget Sound region's largest nonprofit affordable housing provider. Today Bellwether apartments are home to approximately 4000 residents (and counting).

 

Bellwether continues to lead the affordable housing industry in finding innovative ways to build strong, healthy communities within its own portfolio and on behalf of other nonprofit organizations. We have developed thousands of apartment homes and numerous community facilities as a development consultant for other nonprofits. 

Timeline

Bellwether Founded
Virginia Anderson, Downtown Seattle Association Housing Committee

1980

Name
Year
Virginia_SocMedia Still_edited.jpg
 
 

Our Approach

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Bellwether Housing builds and manages high quality affordable housing so that people of diverse backgrounds and incomes thrive in urban King County’s high-cost housing market. 


As the Puget Sound region’s largest nonprofit affordable housing provider, Bellwether Housing serves 4,000 residents annually in 2400 apartments. Our 35 buildings (and counting!) are near workplaces, schools, childcare, and community amenities in vibrant, transit-rich neighborhoods. We serve families large and small, households recovering from homelessness, seniors, immigrants, preschool teachers and social workers, and young people just starting out. Living at Bellwether, residents gain access to the resources and prosperity of their surrounding communities and, in turn, cultivate a more inclusive and equitable city. 


To meet the intense need for affordable housing in the region, we plan to build and acquire 2,500 homes by 2025. Since 2016, Bellwether has targeted new development in neighborhoods that have incredible access to transit, public services such as libraries, parks, and excellent schools, and allow for strong ties to community supports such as YMCA’s, Boys & Girls Clubs, community centers, health care facilities and food banks.  We have developed or are developing in Queen Anne, Roosevelt, the University District, First Hill, Bitter Lake and Rainier Beach.

 

Bellwether’s resident are majority BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), and our larger households with children are nearly 80% families of color.  Low-income families have fewer housing options than any other population in Seattle.  Since 2016, Bellwether has prioritized the development of 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom apartments to create as many options as possible for low-income families.  Although these larger apartments are more challenging to develop and operate, Bellwether believes it is imperative that our community be a place in which lower income families – particularly BIPOC families - can thrive. 

 

Our apartment communities include resident amenity areas, such as community rooms, outdoor play spaces, gardens, and laundry; and attentive on-site management. Our on-site resident services program connects residents with the resources, services, benefits, and community relationships they need to thrive. 

Future

Looking forward, Bellwether continues to integrate four decades of success with innovative and pioneering development approaches to make housing in our region more accessible, inclusive, and affordable to all. In the next five years, we plan to build or acquire 2,500 new apartments, grow our organization to maintain and operate these new units, and continue to embed anti-racism into our organization's culture and work. 

Five Year Plan

You can view our Strategic Plan here.