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

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