With Building Renovations, Residents Come First

CHH residents tour new homes at Vulcan Properties. Photo courtesy of Allen Skytta.

Three Capitol Hill Housing properties are undergoing serious rehab right now. When the 55 residents of these buildings learned that this would mean moving temporarily, many were anxious. When Vulcan Real Estate took folks on tours of their new, though temporary, homes, those fears seemed to fade.

In partnership with CHH property management, Vulcan held separate resident meetings to introduce folks to their new buildings. Putting financial goals aside, Vulcan was eager to hear resident concerns and assisted management with walk-throughs, showing amenities such as rooftop gardens and state-of-the-art community rooms. Most important, residents were able to remain in their communities – many are long-term residents with CHH.

It is essential that as we build new and repair existing buildings, residents come first. CHH is proud to partner with Vulcan Properties in living this value.

Omnivorous 2019 gathers 300+ in support of affordable housing

Che Sehyun shares about his family’s great experience living in the Liberty Bank Building while raising his son and daughter, with his partner Nijuana Chardonnay.
Photo by Mike Nakamura.

Dear Friends –

On Thursday, October 10, more than 300 members of Capitol Hill Housing’s community filled Washington Hall to support the critical work of CHH while enjoying the rich variety of cuisine donated by 25 of central Seattle’s finest bars and restaurants.

The evening was a wonderful success.

In a brief and passionate program we heard from CEO Chris Persons about Capitol Hill Housing’s work with partners across Seattle. Ashley Thomas, Senior Manager of Resident Services, emphasized that housing for low income families must be coupled with comprehensive services. We met Che Sehyun and his family, residents of the new Liberty Bank Building, and learned how their new affordable home in the Central District has made it possible to live and thrive in Seattle. And Chef Shota Nakajima of Adana shared that the diversity of Capitol Hill is what inspires him every day.

We entered the room with a goal of raising $205,000. With the support of our large and generous community, we raised more than $240,000 for CHH’s programs and services, representing more than 20% growth over last year. From everyone at CHH, we extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to the donors, guests, sponsors, restaurants, speakers, volunteers and staff who made Omnivorous 2019 a smashing success!

It’s not too late to join us! If you weren’t able to make it but would like to make a donation to support our work, please do so here:

Everyone has the right to a quality, affordable home

Every donation made at Omnivorous goes towards Capitol Hill Housing’s work to foster vibrant, equitable communities where everyone has access to safe, affordable, and welcoming homes.

P.S. As Chris Persons noted in his speech, we are reaching the end of our re-naming process. We are asking YOUR help in determining the new name of our organization. Please visit www.surveyURL.com to weigh in with your thoughts on the eight finalists. Survey closes Monday, October 14, at midnight.

Thank you to all the participating restaurants

Adana, Aluel Cellars, Ba BarCafé Pettirosso, Caffe Vita, Full Tilt Ice CreamHello Robin, Heritage Distilling Company, L’Oursin, Lionhead, Marjorie, Nuflours BakeryOOLA Distillery Optimism Brewing Company, Plenty of Clouds, Poquitos, queer/barRachel’s Ginger Beer, Revolver Bar, Rumba, SmithSoiThat Brown Girl Cooks!, The Tin Table, and Via Tribunali.

THANK YOU TO OUR 2019 SPONSORS!

King Salmon Sponsor

Hama Hama Sponsors


Chanterelle Sponsors

Beneficial State BankBlanton Turner, Colliers McKay Chhan WayneEnterprise Community PartnersEnvironmental Works, Kaiser PermanenteMBE Law GroupPacifica Law GroupPyramid Communications, Walsh Construction, Weinstein A + U

Fiddlehead Fern Sponsors


Cloud Room, Geotech Consultants, Hainsworth Laundry CompanyHSBC BankMithunSeattle Central CollegeSMR ArchitectsWeber Thompson

Media Sponsor

Venue Sponsor

Take our Name Testing Survey!

Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) is ready to select a new name for our organization – and we want your input!

CHH has grown and changed so much in our more than 40 years of service. With your support, we’ve been able to transform alongside our region, building stronger partnerships and expanding housing options with 49 affordable apartment buildings across the greater Seattle area. To meet today’s affordable housing needs, and lead equitable change into the future, we need a name that reflects who – and where – we are now as an organization.

This summer we asked our community of supporters to submit their ideas for a new name. And we’ve done some creative work ourselves. We’ve narrowed down to a list of eight potential names, and we’d like to know what you think of them.

Take 5 minutes to fill out our online survey and let us know which name(s) you think fits.

Survey closes at midnight on Monday, October 14.

Thank you for your dedicated support. We’re grateful to lead this transformational work with you.

Staff Spotlight: Hassna Benyahya-Calhoun

As a site manager, Hassna serves 47 families across three CHH buildings – the 412, the Byron Wetmore, and Joe Black Apartments. As she tells it, there is no such thing as a typical day. Between overseeing properties, addressing resident concerns, and supervising vendors, her main priorities are accountability, community, and communication.

Key to her success is staying organized – coordinating care for the building, including cleaning and maintenance, is something she’s doing constantly. And while CHH has a 48-hour response policy, Hassna tries to respond to voicemail and email as soon as possible.

Having started at CHH as a front-desk housing assistant, Hassna wants residents of her buildings to know that she is working for them. She’s happy to listen, to make service referrals, and sees herself in partnership with residents. Ultimately, she hopes that folks feel a sense of home.

Partner Spotlight: Byrd Barr Place

Byrd Barr Place is located in old Fire Station #23.

CHH Resident Services is proud to partner with Byrd Barr Place, one of Washington’s oldest community organizations. Byrd Barr Place provides “essential human services to Seattle residents who are struggling to make ends meet”. Their programs include healthy food, personal finance, housing and energy assistance focused especially on emergency situations.

Resident Services staff refer CHH residents to Byrd Barr’s Home Delivery food program and frequently use their resource list to connect residents to services. Staff have coordinated eight LIHEAP Outreach events to sign CHH residents up for Byrd Barr’s Energy Assistance Program.

This great relationship yields smooth referrals, letting Resident Services staff know that they are directing residents to a caring and responsive agency. CHH is also partnering with Byrd Barr Place on our Rise Together capital campaign to raise funding for equitable development projects in the Central District, Capitol Hill, and White Center – including the renovation of Byrd Barr Place’s historic home, Fire Station 23 (pictured above).

Celebrating the End of School

CHH celebrated the end of the school year with celebrations at several of our buildings. Take a look below for a glimpse of the festivities!

It was a day of celebration!
There were skateboarding races – safety first!
The King County Library System was on hand to provide resources for summer.
Face-painting brightened everyone’s smile.
Starting the summer in style!

These events were created in partnership with Skate Like a Girl, FOCS, LeadSHOP, Girl Scouts, Youth in Focus, and GOKIC.

Press Release: SCIDpda leads new development for 158 apartments for Yesler family housing

March 25 – The Seattle Housing Authority (SHA), Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda), and Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) announced a joint venture to develop 158 apartments of affordable homes for working families in a location near Yesler, Little Saigon, and the Central District.

The majority of the residential units in the development will be two- to four-bedroom units in order to address the growing need for housing for medium- and large-sized families. Additionally, the development will include an 8,000 square-foot child care/early-learning center to be operated by the Denise Louie Education Center. It will also feature units that can be licensed for in-residence operation of childcare. Other amenities will include common areas for resident gathering and activities; exterior courtyards for the child care/early learning center and community gardens. One thousand square feet of the portion of the building facing Yesler Avenue will be dedicated to community-based commercial/retail services. Thirty-nine parking stalls will serve housing residents and childcare center staff. The project is expected to be completed in 2021, and is the first new construction developed by SCIDpda since 2004.

Read more in our joint press release.

Press Release: Liberty Bank Building Ribbon Cutting March 23rd

Three more days before our Ribbon Cutting Celebration at the Liberty Bank Building!

Click here for our joint press release out (external link to Liberty Bank Building website) on the Ribbon Cutting Event for the newly-open building this Saturday March 23rd 11AM-2PM. See the press release for particulars on the village that helped make this building happen, and other exciting details.

RSVP for the event at http://bit.ly/lbb-2019.

That Brown Girl Cooks! at LBB

Kristi Brown and Damon Bomar of That Brown Girl Cooks! Photo courtesy of Kristi Brown

Kristi Brown, Chef Goddess of That Brown Girl Cooks!, alongside her son and business partner Damon Bomar, will open their first restaurant at the newly minted Liberty Bank Building (LBB) in just a few short months. How are they feeling about that? Elated.

“This is not going to be your typical restaurant. With so many expectations from such a huge spectrum of Seattle communities, we’re finding our middle ground,” she explains. Chef Kristi spends a lot of time thinking about what she wants people to experience from her expansive history in cooking. In a community that used to be 75% African American and is now 80% White, she plans to honor an ancestry of women who cooked in the Central District while also carving out a space for herself.

“The Liberty Bank Building is a pilgrimage back home,” she reflects. She’s not just speaking about herself coming back to the Central District but of LBB residents, as well. Having been a long time CD resident, Chef understands. She currently lives in affordable housing at Plaza Roberto Maestas on the El Centro de La Raza campus and recognizes the impact of living in intentionally equitable communities here in Seattle.

Chef Kristi wants to use the significance of the Liberty Bank Building, her skill as a chef, and her ties to the African American community to “bring everyone to a table!” particularly in a time of political upheaval.

To perform these miracles, she knows that she and her team have to be ready for this great responsibility. In order to put her talk about community into action, Chef Kristi is collaborating with Trisha Arcaro and has enrolled her entire company in boxing classes at Arcaro Boxing, a long standing tenant in the Jefferson apartments, a Capitol Hill Housing building. Trisha suggested the exercise as self-care, strengthening, and meditation for the upcoming task. Chef Kristi knows she’ll need it – her entire focus is on manifesting this long-awaited dream and building the next level of the That Brown Girl Cooks! empire.