Meeting Change Notice

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Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) has changed the date of the Executive Committee meeting originally scheduled to be held in the Belmont Conference Room at the CHH Main Office at 1620 12th Ave, Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98122 on Thursday, January 3rd from 12:00-1:30pm.

This meeting is now scheduled for Monday, January 7th at the same time and location.

Thank you,

Capitol Hill Housing

An Interview with Site Manager Joah Snowden

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Photo courtesy of Joah Snowden

Joah Snowden is looking forward to becoming the site manager for the Liberty Bank Building (LBB). Currently, he is the site manager for Squire Park Plaza at 1710 South Jackson Street, owned and operated by Capitol Hill Housing. When LBB with its 115 apartments and three storefronts opens its doors in 2019, Joah expects to be busy.
The Liberty Bank Building stands as a legacy to the community that surrounds it, and Joah takes that responsibility seriously.

“There will be an eye on LBB because of the significance of the space,” he says. “I hope to be a part of the community outside of the building, not just within it.”

Though, within it, he plans to set a welcoming tone so that residents know him to be available, understanding, and willing to help. He would like to create an atmosphere where residents feel that they are part of a community within the building and looks forward to hosting events on the rooftop deck and in the community room so that residents can meet one another. We’re glad to have Joah on our team!

Meeting Notice

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October 1, 2018

Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) has scheduled a meeting of the Community Development Committee to be held in the Belmont Conference Room at the CHH Main Office at 1620 12th Ave, Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98122 on Thursday, October 4th at 1:00pm.

Thank you,

Capitol Hill Housing

Meeting Cancellation Notice

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Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) has cancelled the Joint Board Development Committee meeting originally scheduled to be held in the Belmont Conference Room at the CHH Main Office at 1620 12th Ave, Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98122 on Wednesday, September 12th at 4:00pm.

 Thank you,

Capitol Hill Housing

Meeting Change Notice

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Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) has changed the date of the Property Development Committee meeting originally scheduled to be held in the Belmont Conference Room at the CHH Main Office at 1620 12th Ave, Ste 205, Seattle, WA 98122 on Tuesday, September 4th at 5:30 pm.

The meeting is now scheduled for Tuesday, September 4th at 5:00 pm in the Pike Pine Room at 1620 12th Ave, Ste 206, Seattle, WA 98122.

Thank you,

Capitol Hill Housing

CHH Leads Effort to Revitalize Local Alley as Pedestrian Zone

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Capitol Cider held a benefit on July 20-21 for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. Credit: Capitol Cider

Public space isn’t limited to parks. It includes streets, sidewalks, and other outdoor places where we as a community can connect. Alleys such as Seattle’s Post Alley are important thoroughfares, casting a spotlight on businesses and creating pedestrian zones that avoid traffic. Several communities have taken on other projects of this nature, such as Nord Alley, created by the Alliance for Pioneer Square, and Canton Alley, spearheaded by the Seattle Chinatown International District Planning and Development Authority (SCIDpda).

With funding support from the Office of Economic Development and the Seattle Department of Transportation, Capitol Hill Housing is excited to help lead an effort to revitalize such a space nearby – one where neighbors can meet. The alley runs behind CHH’s own Broadway Crossing and also touches Capitol Cider, Neighbours Nightclub, the Erickson and Egyptian theaters, part of Seattle Central College, several local businesses, and a forthcoming affordable housing project.

In addition to answering a desire for more active, open spaces in our community, a restored alley (boarded up doors and windows are visible from outside) could help address existing challenges such as safety and cleanliness for nearby residents and customers and the dumping of trash.  The alley is also currently used by members of our community facing addiction and homelessness and we are exploring ways to integrate harm reduction services and other supports into the project.

“This is a great opportunity for the college and the Capitol Hill community. As an urban campus, we enjoy an eclectic student body and a vibrant, 24-hour neighborhood. Activating this alley will benefit the college and our neighbors,” says Lincoln Ferris, Consultant to the President at Seattle Central College.

We are committed to engaging community members in a process that respects and strives to meet the needs of everyone who currently uses and might use the alley. Public space belongs to everyone, and everyone should feel welcome. We have created a convening group that will help guide the community engagement process.

We are seeking other members for this group.  If you have a connection to the alley and are interested in getting involved please contact project manager Alex Brennan at abrennan@capitolhillhousing.org.

This group currently includes the following individuals:

Julie Tall, Owner of Capitol Cider
Lincoln Ferris, Seattle Central College
Brian Steen, Building Manager for Broadway Crossing Apartments
Andrew Niece, SIFF/Egyptian
Ana Klisara, Starbucks
Joshua Wallace, Seattle Area Support Groups
Curtis Walton, Central Seattle Greenways

Interview with Resident Services Coordinator Brittany Williams

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Brittany Williams, Resident Services Coordinator

Brittany Williams loves creating spaces of possibility. In her time so far at Resident Services, she’s worked to build community within CHH that includes residents by connecting one-on-one and by being an integral part of that community herself.

Brittany’s position is unique. While other Resident Services Coordinators are assigned to specific buildings, she is charged with developing a holistic program that will serve the residents of many buildings at once. To do this, she is working hard to assess needs, to build relationships with local service providers, and to create systems to prevent and handle crises.

Of all her accomplishments, she is most proud of partnering with the YMCA to host Money Mechanics, a four-week financial literacy program that received overwhelming positive feedback from its 44 participating residents. Upon completion, participants received six months of financial coaching and a savings benefit of up to $1,000. She looks forward to hosting other workshops like these for adults and children.

For Brittany, success means that residents experience a strong sense of belonging within the CHH community. She believes that this is best accomplished by empowering people to advocate for themselves by creating as many choices as possible. Now that her department has grown from three to six staff members, she looks forward to many more programs that make a difference in the lives of CHH residents.

Public Notice

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Closing of the 18th Ave Apartment (2bdrm), 412 Apartments, El Nor, Elizabeth James House, Haines Apartments (Studios), Hazel Plaza (2&3 Bdrm), Holden Vista (2&3 Bdrm), Mary Ruth Manor (2&3 Bdrm), and Union James Section 8 Waiting Lists. Effective August 3, 2018: Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) will close the Section 8 waiting lists at these buildings.

CHH will NOT accept any NEW applications for any waiting lists on or after this date until further notice.

When a waiting list becomes longer than the amount of people we can service within
two – three years, we stop taking applications. Because we have very few vacancies, we expect it will take a long time before we can assist applicants already on the waiting lists. Therefore, we have no plans to re-open these waiting lists in the near future.

The closures are effective August 3, 2018 and shall remain in effect until further notice. No applications will be accepted for these buildings while the waiting lists are closed. When CHH is prepared to re-open these waiting lists, an announcement will be posted on our website and in the local newspaper.

While CHH will not be taking new applications during the time the waiting lists are closed, staff will continue to process those currently on the lists and make unit offers as vacancies occur. You are still required to update your personal information by submitting changes in writing.

For more on the CHH properties subsidized by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), go here.

CHH Welcomes New Board Chair

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We talked with Robert Schwartz, the new Chair of the Board of Directors for Capitol Hill Housing. Robert was an inaugural member of the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict Steering Committee and is deeply invested in addressing the need for affordable housing across the region. As Associate Vice President for Facilities at Seattle University, he is responsible for a broad portfolio that includes long-range planning and real estate projects for the campus. He has a passion for sustainability that extends beyond buildings and includes the communities that form around them. [Ed. Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity]

You have spent your career engaged in improving the built world. What first drew your attention to affordable housing?

I started working at Seattle University and felt nudges, in part because of my faith, that it was important to be helping low-income people and to be engaged with the city beyond just my work. I knew that I could go serve at a soup kitchen, and I’ve done that in the past, but I thought that’s probably not the best use of my experience and expertise. Because of my role at Seattle University, I was originally put forward to the CHH Board as a mayoral appointee. I thought this is a great opportunity to respond to those nudges and be engaged with helping my community, be engaged with making the city a better place. It was a confluence of a lot of different streams.

You were a part of the original Steering Committee for the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict – what brought you there?

Here at Seattle University, we are really concerned with sustainability.  As a licensed civil engineer, I bring a very analytical and critical approach to sustainability. There’s a lot of happy talk, but I really look at performance. At Seattle University we talk about high performance:  We want a high-performance organization and we want high performance buildings – buildings that perform well are energy efficient and less expensive to operate. To me, we need to take a very practical, hard-edged look at what it means to be sustainable. From that standpoint, I was interested in being engaged not in these big nebulous concepts but in something really concrete. It’s got to result in real changes. And I think the EcoDistrict has done a really good job with that. I look at their solar power initiative and parking; I think the EcoDistrict is a good blend of idealism and real-world applications. That’s to be commended. A lot of that happened after I was involved, but I was there at the initial thinking through of some of those things.

In many ways, Seattle University is trying to model a lot of the same objectives. In Higher Ed, there’s an organization called the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). They have a rating program called Stars – Sustainability Tracking and Rating System. It’s very comprehensive; it doesn’t just look at your recycling. It also looks at your educational offerings, your administrative policies, and how all of those promote sustainable operations. We are one of the few institutions who have a gold rating nationally.

What is your vision for how CHH should look to the future in building partnerships and connecting to communities where there isn’t already an affordable housing nonprofit? How do you think we can best accomplish that?

I think that’s been a big question for us at the Board level. There isn’t a one-size approach that fits all. We are working to figure out parameters for what approach we should use in various locations and what’s appropriate, all with an eye towards meeting the real need of affordable housing and building vibrant and engaged communities. I appreciate the commitment that CHH has to diversity. Chris Persons has done a great job of bringing together a diverse board that reflects the views and needs of the communities we are working in. We still have more work to do. Capitol Hill Housing is an organization that’s willing to take risks. Look at our work in the Central District. We are currently developing a project that, in fifteen years, we may essentially sell all our interests in. That’s a pretty groundbreaking model in a lot of ways, and I’m proud to be a part of an organization that’s willing to take risks. If a group like Capitol Hill Housing doesn’t take that risk, nobody will.