Residents Report that Their New Homes Put Opportunity Within Reach
At Bellwether Housing, we focus on building affordable homes that give our residents access to opportunities, services, and amenities in our region. Residents at our two newest buildings, Arbora Court and Anchor Flats, report that their homes are putting them within easy reach of jobs, schools, transit, shopping, and parks.
Residents began moving into Arbora Court’s 133 apartments at the end of April. Arbora Court offers studios, one, two, and three bedroom apartments for families, singles, and couples. 40 of the apartments are set-aside for families transitioning out of homelessness.
Lillian Richards and her three children, ages two, seven, and ten, used to live in a cramped two-bedroom apartment. As her kids grew bigger, they needed more space. Lillian particularly wanted her ten-year-old son who has special needs to be able to have his own room. But finding an affordable place to call home for a larger family on a limited income proved challenging. That’s why Lillian was thrilled to find Arbora Court, where her family now has a three-bedroom apartment.
“I love the building and my apartment! It’s bigger, bright, and more open,” says Lillian. “It’s so convenient having the courtyard with the playground here for my kids.”
Lillian describes Arbora Court’s location as “perfect” since her family can now complete many errands on foot. She also appreciates the information she’s received from onsite Resident Services Coordinator, Joanna Endo, who has helped the family get settled in their new neighborhood.
“Joanna always helps me with research, and when I moved in, she gave me a list of all kinds of resources nearby,” says Lillian.
Resident Tess Ritter, a singer and single mom, used to spend lots of the time in the car driving between her home in South Seattle, her daughter Grace’s school in North Seattle, her rehearsals in South Lake Union, and her part-time job in the U-District. From Arbora Court, Tess can ride the bus to rehearsals, walk to her second job at an arts non-profit, and only spend about 15 minutes in the car getting Grace to school. Now, Tess and Grace can spend more time together doing the things they enjoy like going to the farmer’s market, visiting the library, and cooking.
“My quality of living is vastly improved just due to the fact that I don’t have to spend so much time in my car,” says Tess.
Anchor Flats, located in South Lake Union, opened in June with 71 apartments for singles, couples, and small families. Bellwether’s impact investment program, Seattle’s Future Fund, helped finance the building’s construction.
“I am so fortunate to be able to call Anchor Flats home. Previously, I moved three times in five years because my rent was raised 20-30% each time. I feared that to afford retirement, I would need to move away from Seattle and all it has to offer, including my friends. Now I don't have to,” says Anchor Flats resident, Scott Green, a longtime Seattleite and recent retiree.
Anchor Flats puts residents within walking distance of the region’s major jobs center, several parks, and bus routes going all over the city.
“I have enjoyed exploring my new neighborhood. I’m within walking distance to grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants and the Seattle Center,” says Scott.
Anchor Flats resident Cynthia Reynolds hasn’t owned a car in ten years, so when it was time to move she worried about finding somewhere she could both afford and live without a car. She was delighted to find Anchor Flats.
“I primarily get around on the bus. From Anchor Flats, I can ride the bus to the grocery store or to downtown and work,” says Cynthia. "I also like getting some exercise by walking to the waterfront.”
These two buildings represent the biggest expansion of Bellwether’s portfolio in our history. Over the next five years, we plan to add 1,200 homes to our portfolio in transit-oriented locations with approximately 30% of the apartments sized for families.