Bellwether Housing

Opportunity. Community. Home.

Seattle, WA   |  www.bellwetherhousing.org

Mission

Bellwether Housing creates stable communities and access to opportunity through affordable housing. We develop and manage homes for people with limited incomes near job centers, transit, and services. We amplify our impact by helping other organizations in the Puget Sound region do the same.

Notes from the nonprofit

Common Ground merged with Bellwether Housing on October 1, 2013.The merger allows two of the premier local affordable housing organizations to continue to address critical housing needs of low-income people in a sustainable fashion despite challenging economic times. In total, the groups estimate that they have developed nearly 10,000 affordable homes over their shared history, in Seattle, King County and diverse communities throughout Washington State.

Ruling year info

1980

Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Susan Boyd JD

Main address

1651 Bellevue Avenue

Seattle, WA 98122 USA

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Formerly known as

Housing Resources Group

EIN

91-1116960

NTEE code info

Housing Rehabilitation (L25)

Housing Owners, Renters Organizations (L50)

Management & Technical Assistance (L02)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The greater Seattle area's incredible growth has come at a cost for many lower income people. The average two-bedroom apartment in Seattle now rents for $2,100. In 2016, 47% of renters in the Seattle metro area were cost-burdened by their housing (spending more than 30% of their income on rent) and 22% were severely cost-burdened, meaning they spent half of their income or more on rent. The housing crisis is particularly acute for families. As of 2009, just 2% of market-rate apartments in Seattle have 3 or more bedrooms, and only a fraction of those are affordable to low-income families. High housing costs force households to make tough choices.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Develop and Manage Affordable Housing for People of Diverse Backgrounds

We create and maintain outstanding homes. Our buildings bring stability to the lives of our residents and are an asset to their communities. We design high-quality apartments that people want to call home. Our buildings integrate seamlessly with their neighborhoods. Our extraordinary staff take pride in keeping our buildings clean, safe, and continually maintained.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We envision diverse communities where people of all incomes and backgrounds share in the opportunity and prosperity of our region. To bring our vision to fruition, Bellwether Housing develops new affordable housing communities in locations that give our residents easy access to jobs, schools, transit, and services. We maintain our existing homes to the highest standards so that residents have homes they feel good about. We bring innovation and collaboration to our work to make housing accessible to the increasing number of people who cannot afford it.

At Bellwether, we believe that affordable housing shouldn't be regarded as a charitable gift to a few poor families, but rather should be treated as an essential public good that makes entire communities stronger. Affordable housing benefits individual households by closing the gap between income and rent, allowing families to have enough for childcare, medical needs, and education. When people live near work, school, and services, they can invest more time and resources in themselves, their families, and their communities and whole communities grow stronger. Affordable housing also promotes diverse, interesting neighborhoods where people of all backgrounds feel welcomed.

With the need for affordable housing more pressing and ubiquitous than ever, Bellwether Housing is undertaking a record level of development. This year we opened 204 new affordable apartments in Seattle neighborhoods with easy access to jobs, transit, and services. Over the next five years, we will add approximately 1200 units to our portfolio, all of them in transit oriented locations and with up to 30% of the units large enough for families. As we embark on this ambitious development plan, Bellwether will launch a new impact investment fund, allowing private investors to help us deliver this much needed public good.

Bellwether Housing develops and manages affordable homes that put our residents in proximity to transit, jobs, and education. We strive to create diverse communities where people of all incomes and backgrounds share in the opportunity and prosperity of the Puget Sound region. Bellwether serves the broad spectrum of people in need of affordable housing: families exiting homelessness, independent seniors, adults with disabilities, immigrants seeking opportunity, and young people just starting out. Within in-house real estate development, property management, compliance, maintenance, resident services, and asset management departments, Bellwether creates and maintains affordable housing that people want to call home. We work collaboratively – between departments, with partner organizations, and across sectors – to find new and more effective ways to achieve our mission, from impact investing to green building to co-developing with other non-profits to build to scale. We work ambitiously and with an urgency that matches our region's affordable housing crisis.

Bellwether's success is evidenced both by our stability and the way we are scaling up to match our community's need. Bellwether currently manages 2,100 affordable apartments, which see annual turnover of just 12%. We have grown our portfolio more rapidly in the past five years than ever before and will continue to ambitiously scale up by adding 1,200 units by 2023. Bellwether was the first nonprofit housing provider in the country to raise its own local, socially-motivated private capital to invest directly in the development of our projects. The $4 million we raised in impact funds filled funding gaps and allowed us to create homes in two amenity and opportunity rich Seattle neighborhoods.

Financials

Bellwether Housing
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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Bellwether Housing

Board of directors
as of 06/21/2018
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Harry Matsumoto

Quantum Management Services, Inc.

Term: 2017 - 2019

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes