A Year of Hope

The following post appeared in our December edition of our monthly e-newsletter, Building Blocks. Sign up on our mailing list if you’d like to receive updates on our work!

As we begin the new year, it’s typical for a message like this to offer a preview of the year ahead.

I’d rather write about hope.

Though we face uncertainty at the federal level, the crisis of affordability in our city continues. Families struggling to find an affordable place to live or communities holding fast against displacement cannot suffer any diminishing of our ambition or weakening of our resolve.

Let 2017 be our year for hope, the year for our most ambitious goals. As we refuse to back away from bold action, let 2017 also be a year grounded in growth and service. If hope is the seed for our highest aspirations, then it must be nurtured with hard work and humility.

It’s a lesson we have learned through our work on the Liberty Bank Building. Expected to break ground later this spring, the project will provide 115 affordable homes, small business opportunities for African American owned enterprises, locally designed art and a thoughtful remembrance of the bank that once was there.

And yet, our vision of a completely inclusive community project has not always been flawlessly executed. We are accustomed to doing things a particular way. We work closely with community, but never before to the extent we are pursuing with the Liberty Bank Building. We don’t always get it exactly right. But that’s when we redouble our commitment to listening to and learning from our partners. I have watched that commitment rise organically from the bed of our culture and take root across our organization.

That gives me hope. It gives me hope that we can learn as an organization and grow in service to community. And it gives me hope that we can partner with communities overcoming disinvestment and institutional racism in ways that allow them to flourish under their own stewardship and dominion.

As we look forward to 2017, I encourage you to take one last look at 2016 through our annual community report. Thank you to our donors, supporters and partners who made our efforts possible. 

Chris Persons, CEO

Special Meeting Notice

SPECIAL MEETING NOTICE

December 21, 2016

Capitol Hill Housing will hold a special meeting of the CHH Board Property Management Committee in the Belmont Conference Room of the 12th Ave Arts building at 1620 12th Avenue Suite 205 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm on Thursday, January 5, 2017. This is a change from the original date of the meeting, which was previously scheduled for Tuesday, January 3, 2017.

 

Thank you,

Capitol Hill Housing

We Still Have Work to Do

The following post appeared in our December edition of our monthly e-newsletter, Building Blocks. Sign up on our mailing list if you’d like to receive updates on our work!

 

I imagine the results of last month’s presidential election remain on many of your minds, even today. For some, this is a time of celebration, but for others these events bring fear about what the future holds.

I am reminded of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which ring true today: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” It is love and light that will carry us through these times.  As much as you may feel like giving up right now, we still have work to do.  We have housing to build.  We have community to support and nurture.  We have opportunity to create and hope to engender.

At Capitol Hill Housing we welcome all. The refugee fleeing war-ravaged despair, the reformed convict hoping to embark on a new path, the young family who wants to raise kids in a vibrant, diverse neighborhood.  We welcome gay and queer and lesbian and trans people.  We welcome people who have physical and emotional disability.  We welcome people of all races and beliefs.

I don’t feel particularly authorized to quote Dr. King, but his words, to my mind, represent the only path forward.  We won’t back away from our values or stop fighting for what’s right, but we also won’t assume that others - whatever their politics – don’t share our values.

Though these are uncertain times, we have work to do. As builders of community, we play an important role in creating space for dialogue that doesn’t alienate or exclude.  We also promote legislation that supports our work.  One example of this is a bipartisan bill cosponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell and Orrin Hatch.  If passed into law, this bill will double the revenue generated by low income housing tax credits.

We recently spoke to Senator Cantwell’s office and I will be heading to Washington DC in the spring as a member of the Housing Partnership Network policy committee to advocate on behalf of all policy that impacts our work.

Chris Persons, CEO

Special Meeting Notice

CAPITOL HILL HOUSING - SPECIAL MEETING NOTICE

 December 8, 2016

Capitol Hill Housing will hold a special meeting of the CHH EcoDistrict Steering Committee in the Pike/Pine Meeting Room of the 12th Ave Arts building at 1620 12th Avenue Suite 206 from 5:00 – 6:30 pm on Friday, January 13, 2017. This is a change from the original date of the meeting, which was previously scheduled for Friday, December 9, 2016.

Thank you,

Capitol Hill Housing

 

Special Meeting Notice

November 30, 2016

Capitol Hill Housing will hold a special meeting of the CHH Board Executive Committee in the Belmont Conference Room in the CHH main office at 1620 12th Avenue Suite 205 from 5:00 – 6:30 pm on Wednesday, January 4, 2016. This is a change from the original date of the meeting, which was previously scheduled for Tuesday, December 27, 2016.

Thank you,

Capitol Hill Housing

Special Meeting Notice


CAPITOL HILL HOUSING

SPECIAL MEETING NOTICE

November 7, 2016

Capitol Hill Housing will hold a special meeting for the CHH State Audit Entrance in the Belmont Conference Room in the CHH main office at 1620 12th Avenue Suite 205 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

Thank you,
Capitol Hill Housing

My Last Time on the Soapbox

The following post appeared in our November edition of our monthly e-newsletter, Building Blocks. Sign up on our mailing list if you’d like to receive updates on our work!

Imagine you were hit with an unexpected medical bill for $400. Would you pay it off in cash? Put it on your credit card? When the Federal Reserve asked American consumers this question, a shocking 47% of respondents said they would not be able to cover an expense of that size.

The survey points to a troubling reality: many people across the country are living paycheck to paycheck. In Seattle, there are over 40,000 low-income households spending more than half of their income on housing, squeezed more and more as rents rise.

 

When most of your earnings go to keeping a roof over your head, the line between being stably housed and on the street can be very fine. Back in July of 2015, the Committee to End Homelessness in King County presented a study showing that an increase of only $100 in median rent corresponded to a 15% increase in the homeless population.

 

I am often asked what role CHH has in addressing the homelessness crisis. The answer? A large one. We don’t run homeless shelters, or tent cities, or conduct outreach. But we do own or manage over 1,400 affordable units across the city, and for many of our residents, an affordable place to rent is the difference that keeps them off the street.

 

We also know that getting people into housing is often only the first step on their journey home. Our resident services staff works tirelessly to connect tenants to resources and opportunities in the community. And when folks fall on times of financial hardship, we provide emergency one-time rental assistance to those who complete a financial education class, to try and keep as many people in their homes as possible.

 

For families that are making just enough to scrape by, quality, affordable homes close to jobs and public transit can make a world of difference. Next year we are excited to break ground on the 115-unit Liberty Bank Building project, our largest yet. It represents our commitment to make sure that as Seattle grows and changes, we continue to offer housing for people at all income levels. When growth happens, it should help lift all residents, not push some out.

 

Chris Persons returned from his three-month sabbatical this week, so this will be my last time on the soapbox. We’re all glad he had some time to recharge his batteries, but also excited to welcome him back. May his renewed energy be infectious as we rise to meet new challenges and opportunities in our ongoing fight to keep Seattle affordable for all.

 

Jill Fleming, Acting CEO
Jill Fleming, Acting CEO

Meeting Change Notice

October 24, 2016

Capitol Hill Housing has changed the date of the Executive Committee meeting originally scheduled to be held in the Belmont Conference Room in the CHH main office at 1620 12th Avenue Suite 205 on October 31st at 5pm.

This meeting is now scheduled for Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 5pm in the same location.

Thank you,

Capitol Hill Housing

CHH MEETING CANCELLATION NOTICE

CAPITOL HILL HOUSING

MEETING CANCELLATION NOTICE

 September 26, 2016

Capitol Hill Housing has cancelled a meeting of the Property Development Committee, originally scheduled to be held in the Belmont Conference Room in the CHH main office at 1620 12th Avenue Suite 205 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm on Tuesday, October 4.

 Thank you,

Capitol Hill Housing

A New Standard for Development

The following post appeared in our October edition of our monthly e-newsletter, Building Blocks. Sign up on our mailing list if you’d like to receive updates on our work!

September was an especially busy month for Capitol Hill Housing.

Through the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, we hosted the first-ever Capitol Hill Renter Summit and brought over 100 renters together to have their voices heard by the Mayor and a number of local officials.

I formally signed the purchase and sale agreement for our project at the Capitol Hill light rail station, continuing to move forward our development of affordable apartments above a new, thriving transit hub.

And we were humbled by the community’s generosity at our annual Omnivorous event. A packed room of guests enjoyed fine food and drinks from 27 of Capitol Hill’s best restaurants and raised over $185,000 for our resident services program, which connects CHH tenants to job training, financial counseling, and other services that increase their stability and improve the lives of their families.

All of these events are an important reminder that our work extends far beyond building affordable housing. We build vibrant and engaged communities, working alongside our neighbors to ensure the opportunities our city offers are available to everyone.

Today, we further that work with our announcement of signed a memorandum of understanding with Africatown-Central District Preservation and Development Association, Black Community Impact Alliance, and Centerstone to help guide the redevelopment of the Liberty Bank Building at 24th and Union.

The memorandum sets out a shared vision for the project and the partnership’s goal to appropriately honor the legacy of Liberty Bank by leveraging the site redevelopment to directly address displacement and empower the African-American community. In addition to creating 115 affordable homes, our partnership hopes to set a new standard in the Central District and beyond, demonstrating how development can, and should, lift up the community.

I encourage you to visit LibertyBankBuilding.org to learn more.

Jill Fleming, Acting CEO

Jill Fleming, Acting CEO