top of page

Search Results

251 items found for ""

Blog Posts (128)

  • Plymouth Housing and Bellwether Housing Celebrate First AffordableHigh-Rise Development in 50 Years

    Blake House and The Rise on Madison provide 362 total units of new housing On May 23, Plymouth Housing and Bellwether Housing, nonprofits that provide permanent supportive housing and affordable housing, respectively, celebrated the opening of the first affordable high-rise in Seattle in more than 50 years with a ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of the 17-story tower. Karen Lee, CEO of Plymouth Housing, Susan Boyd, CEO of Bellwether Housing, Julie Timm, CEO of Sound Transit, and Rep. Frank Chopp gave remarks on the importance of partnership in providing solutions to ending the homelessness crisis in King County and the positive impact the building will have on the lives of residents and the First Hill community. The ambitious effort was made possible by a $0 land transfer from Sound Transit in 2018. In addition to its proximity to health care providers in the neighborhood, Plymouth is partnering with Swedish Health Services to provide onsite health care services, including behavioral health services, to residents. “Today we have reason to celebrate. This building is proof that we can make real strides toward ending homelessness in our region” said Karen Lee, CEO of Plymouth Housing. “When we came to Sound Transit with an idea for this site, they understood how important it was to provide homes for people experiencing chronic homelessness. When we asked Bellwether to join us, we gained a partner who is doing transformative work providing homes for individuals and families. And of course, we wouldn't be here today if it weren't for our community, and the support of the First Hill neighborhood.” Within the 17-floor building are two distinct apartment complexes. Plymouth will operate Blake House on floors two through five, with a total of 112 studio apartments focused on serving seniors and veterans who have experienced chronic homelessness. In addition to three live-in staff apartments, Blake House features three community rooms, a second-floor outdoor courtyard and a computer lab for residential use. Named for a long-time local housing advocate, Blake House honors the legacy of Blake Nordstrom. For more than 25 years, Blake Nordstrom contributed his time and energy toward various efforts to end homelessness in Seattle. As supporters of Plymouth Housing, Blake and the Nordstrom family both championed Plymouth’s mission in the community and invested in programs that benefited Plymouth residents, including an economic empowerment program at Nordstrom Rack for residents of Plymouth’s former Gatewood Hotel on 1st and Pine Street. Bellwether will operate The Rise on Madison (The Rise) on floors six through 17. The Rise will provide 250 homes affordable to families making 60% or less of area median income with 10% of those homes featuring two and three bedrooms. Rents will range from $1,015 for a studio to $1,783 for a three-bedroom unit. There is a large community room on floor 17 featuring a full kitchen, a large screen television, ample seating and sweeping views of the Sound. It’s complimented by a large outdoor patio off the main sitting area. The Rise also features a computer lab and a children’s play area. Together, the building provides a total of 362 supportive and affordable housing units. “This development represents so much of what is great about Seattle—support for an innovative development that will serve a broad range of needs, collaboration among committed partners, and a deep commitment to ensure that lower income people have a place in this city,” Bellwether CEO Susan Boyd said. “I’m grateful for our state and local government leaders who made this development a priority, to neighborhood leaders who were active proponents of the project, and to the brilliant and committed staff at Plymouth and Bellwether Housing who worked so hard to make this happen.” A historic and diverse neighborhood, First Hill is densely populated with hospitals, medical clinics and higher learning institutions. The location of First Hill will be familiar to residents, many of whom have experienced homelessness within the city, while offering access to shopping, job opportunities and transit hubs. Located on Madison Street at Boylston Avenue, the new building is within walking distance of light rail, the streetcar and major bus lines, providing easy access to the city. "The opening of The Rise on Madison and Blake House is the culmination of years of innovative collaboration to bring affordable housing to the heart of First Hill,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Sound Transit is pleased to have partnered with this project by donating the property, which will now provide more than 350 homes to improve the lives of low- and middle-income individuals and families, as well as seniors and veterans who have experienced chronic homelessness. With its proximity to public transit and ready access to jobs and medical care, this project stands as a shining example of equitable transit-oriented development.” Rep. Frank Chopp remarked, “This project, with The Rise on Madison and Blake House sharing the site, is a shining example of how affordable, transit-oriented housing should be accomplished. Working with Enterprise Community Partners and the Home & Hope program, I enacted a state law mandating surplus Sound Transit property be used for affordable housing. Utilizing that law, we acquired this property for free and partnering with Bellwether Housing, Plymouth Housing, and many public funders, we built a spectacular model for social housing in Washington state. Congratulations to all.” Blake House was funded with 9% low-income housing tax credit equity as well as funding from the City of Seattle, King County, the State of Washington, and the Federal Home Loan Bank. Additionally, Plymouth Housing utilized $4.5 million from its successful PROOF campaign to support the development of this project. The Rise was funded with tax-exempt bonds, 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity and private debt as well as funding from the City of Seattle, King County, and the State of Washington. In addition, Bellwether raised $10 million from local philanthropists and private impact-investors to support a series of developments including The Rise. About Bellwether Housing Bellwether Housing is the largest private, nonprofit affordable housing provider in Seattle. Bellwether has developed, owned and operated housing for low-income individuals, families, seniors and households transitioning out of homelessness since 1980 --in total, 3,000 apartments in 35 (and counting) buildings serving over 5000 people throughout Seattle and South King County. About Plymouth Housing Plymouth Housing’s mission is to eliminate homelessness and address its causes by preserving, developing and operating safe, quality, supportive housing and by providing adults experiencing homelessness with opportunities to stabilize and improve their lives. Plymouth follows the “Housing First” philosophy, operating on the principle that people cannot improve their lives until they have a safe, stable place to live.

  • Bellwether Housing to build 333 affordable, transit-oriented homes at the Overlake Village Station

    Redmond, one of this region’s most expensive places to live, will soon be home to 333 new affordable homes. Following a competitive process requesting proposals from affordable housing developers, Sound Transit has selected Bellwether Housing to develop transit-oriented, affordable rental housing adjacent to the Overlake Village Station, near the Microsoft campus in Redmond. “Transit connects people to community, to housing, to jobs, to education, to food, to health care, to recreation. When transit and development partner to include diverse and affordable communities directly adjacent to quality light rail stations, these people-centered connections become exponentially more vibrant, sustainable, and equitable for the entire region,” said Sound Transit CEO Julie Timm. “We are proud to collaborate with Bellwether Housing and the City of Redmond on this transformative project.” State law requires Sound Transit to commit much of the surplus land resulting from station development to affordable housing. To date 1,150 affordable homes have been developed or are under development on former Sound Transit property. “We applaud Sound Transit’s creative use of property near the Overlake Village Station and welcome Bellwether Housing to Redmond,” said Mayor Angela Birney. “Affordable housing paired with a range of community services near light rail is essential in achieving our vision of complete and equitable neighborhoods. This is another great example of what working together and leveraging partnerships can do for the betterment of our community.” Bellwether’s proposal features rents affordable to households with incomes between 30% and 80% of the area median income. For a 2-bedroom apartment, that means rent will range from about $800 to $2,000, in a community where rent is typically more than twice as high as the national average. The project will include 120 2- and 3-bedroom apartments for larger families. “This is exactly what we need to be doing – density, affordability, community partners – near great schools, world class transit, and a great job market. Communities need this. Families need this. And we are honored to be supporting Sound Transit and the City of Redmond’s housing equity goals,” said Susan Boyd, Chief Executive Officer of Bellwether Housing. Bellwether is partnering with Hopelink, the eastside’s largest social service agency, to provide supportive services to residents who need them. “Too often, families experiencing poverty are priced-out of centrally located neighborhoods. As a result, our communities miss out on the value of their presence and contributions to those communities,” said Dr. Catherine Cushinberry, Chief Executive Officer of Hopelink. “With this partnership, families will be closer to good jobs, great schools, and able to participate more in what will be our shared communities. We know how vital access to quality services are to all families as they settle into a place they can call home. Hopelink is excited to walk alongside residents as they develop this stability and is proud to partner with Bellwether Housing and Sound Transit in this critical work for our region.” The project will also include large community and retail spaces on the ground floor. One Redmond, the Redmond Police Department, and Indian American Community Services plan to occupy and activate those ground floor spaces with services to support public safety, small businesses, and the cultural and recreational needs of the neighborhood. Photo courtesy of VIA – a Perkins Eastman Studio. ### About Bellwether Housing Bellwether Housing is the largest private, nonprofit affordable housing provider in Seattle. Bellwether has developed and operated housing for low-income individuals, families, seniors and households transitioning out of homelessness since 1980. We serve over 6,000 residents in 2,900 apartments throughout Seattle. About Sound Transit Sound Transit builds and operates express buses, light rail and commuter train services for the central Puget Sound region so that people can get to where they are going safely and economically. About Hopelink Since 1971, Hopelink has provided stability-building services for people experiencing poverty in North and East King County. The agency provides nine comprehensive services that work in tandem, supporting community members as they work to exit poverty. These services include food assistance, housing, financial capabilities, employment services, transportation, energy assistance, financial assistance, adult education, and family development.

  • Transgender Awareness Week

    Editorial Note: This post is part of our blog series about diversity, equity, and inclusion. These posts are written by staff on our Equity Committee and originally shared internally. We're sharing them publicly to be transparent about our internal dialogue, reflections and learning process as we work on being an anti-racist organization. Transgender Awareness Week runs every year from November 13 to November 19. People and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility of transgender people and address issues members of the community face (source). (image source) How does Bellwether Housing fit into Transgender Awareness Week? Every one of us plays a role in helping people feel like they have a place here and are welcomed. Bellwether employees may be trans themselves and/or have worked with current or prospective tenants who are transgender. Here’s one employee’s memory of an interaction with a resident where simply asking for pronouns helped assure the resident they were being heard and respected: A tenant came into the office one morning, tense and visibly upset. They weren’t getting responses to any emails they sent to management, and were worried it was because they were trans as they had experienced discrimination in their past. As this person finished their explanation, I said, “May I ask your pronouns?” With a smile, they answered, “He, him.” As I gave him a quick thank you, offered my own pronouns, and started talking about how I could help, his shoulders relaxed and we came to agree on some next steps. Aside from following fair housing law and having respectful daily interactions with trans tenants, what else has Bellwether done to make our buildings more welcoming and safer for trans residents? In 2022, the Property Management team created a voluntary supplemental demographics survey for residents which includes gender identity fields. Read here to learn about why data collection is so important for the LGBTQ community. In 2020, Bellwether’s HR & IT team worked together to add employees’ pronouns to email signatures on a voluntary basis. Property Management overhauled the requirements in our tenant screening application in 2019, and again in 2020 and 2021 to be less restrictive. These changes benefit trans people, who disproportionately face homelessness and incarceration. Here are some ways the requirements changed: Lessened prior eviction restrictions Lessened qualifying income requirements Eliminated need to provide outside proof of bank account amounts Since 2014, Real Estate Development has included all-gender bathrooms in resident common areas of new developments instead of gender-segregated ones. What are things Bellwether could do in the future? Recommend or sponsor LGBTQ-specific trainings for employees Currently, our resident data collection system will only accommodate male, female, and declined to report when it comes to demographics information. Bellwether could advocate that the vendor who provides this system to update their software to reflect more inclusive gender options, such as the “X” gender that is now available for U.S. passports, Washington State licenses, and WA birth certificates (source). More resources: To learn more about transgender people and issues important to them, check out GLAAD's trans facts. This is a great resource for how to be an ally, too. If you prefer to watch instead of read, check out this post from USA Today and these short videos from It Gets Better. For info about transgender people and the workplace, check out Out & Equal. This site also has resources in Spanish and Portuguese. To learn about transgender students and issues important to them, check out GLSEN. This is also a great resource for educators and parents.

View All

Other Pages (123)

  • Attend a Fundraiser | Bellwether Housing

    Home Support Us Attend a Fundraiser Attend a Fundraiser We have one annual fundraiser to support our mission at Bellwether. In addition to that, we participate in related organizations’ fundraising events throughout the year. Check back to this page, or sign up for our newsletter to learn about our events. Closer to Home Fundraiser​ We hold the Bellwether Annual Closer to Home fundraiser in the fall, and it is when we have a chance to highlight the stories of our residents that inspire our work, and thank all of the people involved in our effort. Attending this event is a fun way to support us, typically with tasty catering and a generous venue. Event details Past events Partner Fundraiser​s We participate in related organizations’ fundraising events for affordable housing throughout the year. Upcoming events will appear on our Events page. View upcoming events Past events

  • AdminOffices | bellwetherhousing

    Administrative offices closed Our South Lake Union office (433 Minor Ave N) is closed until further notice due to COVID, Our former administrative office in Capitol Hill at 1651 Bellevue Ave is permanently closed. ​ You can contact us HERE.

  • Bellwether Housing | Affordable Housing | Seattle

    Housing opens doors to opportunity Bellwether Housing provides affordable housing in urban King County, WA, serving 6,000 residents each year. Located near public transit, jobs, great schools, and community resources, o ur apartments are more than a home, they are a door to opportunity. Learn more Find your home today! VIEW OPEN APARTMENTS Get our weekly availability email See all of our buildings We are Seattle's largest nonprofit housing provider. We serve individuals and families with low incomes. We offer affordable rents, spacious apartments, great amenities and management, and on-site resident services. Bellwether: $1,197 AVERAGE MONTHLY RENT Seattle: $2,170 1/16 Bellwether Map Apartments Next Next Now happening NOW HAPPENING Next Next Our Story OUR STORY Our mission is to create access to opportunity through affordable housing. We provide housing that is close to transit, workplaces, schools, childcare, parks, libraries, stores, and other amenities so residents can access more of life’s opportunities and be part of strong communities. Learn more Next Next HEAR OUR RESIDENTS' STORIES Next Next Resident Stories Play Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied Now Playing COVID-19 Rental Relief Efforts for Bellwether Housing Residents 03:54 Play Video Now Playing Opportunity. Community. Home. Bellwether Housing's 2017 Movie 06:10 Play Video Now Playing Closer to Home 2021: A Day in the Life of a Bellwether Staff Member 05:08 Play Video Now Playing 40 Voices of Bellwether Housing: Kobrom 01:20 Play Video Now Playing Amanda's Story 01:02 Play Video Now Playing 40 Voices of Bellwether Housing: Jillian 00:41 Play Video Now Playing "I have a home I can count on." - Bellwether Housing's 2018 Movie 06:24 Play Video Now Playing Dwight's Story 06:05 Play Video ...for the first time, I feel like I have a home... Jillian, Resident New Developments OUR NEW DEVELOPMENTS Next Next 0 BUILDINGS IN DEVELOPMENT Our housing developments RESIDENT SERVICES Next Next Services An affordable home is one just part of leading a happy, healthy life. Residents may need other benefits and services to be stable, healthy, and thriving. We are here to help. ​ Our Resident Services team offers support and referrals. They also host community events at every Bellwether building. The Resident Services program is free and confidential for all Bellwether Housing residents. WE HELP RESIDENTS: Access medical and mental health care Find quality affordable childcare Sign up for rental assistance Access healthy food or meal delivery Access unemployment & disability benefits Find ESL Classes or go back to school Find a job, interview and resume prep Financial and legal services CURRENT RESIDENTS LINKS Maintenance Requests Emergency after-hours service Resident services Pay rent online OUR COMMITMENT TO ANTI-RACISM The housing system in our country advantages white people and disadvantages Black people and other people of color. Seattle in particular has a history of housing segregation, redlining, and systematically denying people of color access to safe and affordable homes. We cannot create stable communities through affordable housing without addressing racial justice. Housing justice is racial justice. We are committed to becoming an anti-racist organization and continuing to do the work to dismantle systemic and institutionalized racism. Learn more Buildings OUR HOUSING Next Next With over 35 properties (and counting) we have homes in fantastic neighborhoods across Seattle and urban King County. View all properties OUR PARTNERS Next Next We are proud to partner with other organizations and leaders in Seattle and Washington State, allowing us to amplify our impact. We steward long-term relationships and actively seek out new partnership opportunities. Thank you to all our community partners that make our goals possible. Learn more Partners Impact OUR IMPACT Next Next Time and time again, Bellwether residents say that having affordable rent lifts a financial weight off their shoulders. Instead of worrying about the rent, they can focus on the things that make life meaningful. Our apartments are more than a home - they are a foundation for full and rewarding lives. Residents say they can focus on career advancement, spending time with their families, building community, or saving for the future. There is endless demand for affordable housing in Seattle. We are doubling our portfolio by 2025 in response to our region's urgent need for more great housing options for families of all shapes, sizes, and means. Sign up for our newsletter Next Next Newsletter OUR IMPACT Next Next It’s your turn – help us make a difference. Our vision is that Seattle and urban King County are accessible to all people of all income levels. When we work together, we can make our region a place where everyone can live, be supported in community, and find new opportunities to follow their dreams. ​ We serve community members who are most impacted by the economic pressures of stagnant wages and the skyrocketing cost of living. Our residents are preschool teachers, health care workers, chefs and bakers, artists and performers, drivers, retail workers, students, retirees, and others. They are an integral part of our neighborhoods and daily life. Your support of Bellwether’s mission helps build stronger communities that are inclusive to all income levels and backgrounds. Your donation helps us build more homes and provide outstanding services to our residents. DONATE Advocate for policies that promote affordable housing ADVOCATE Your Turn

View All
bottom of page