We’re happy to answer any questions you might have. Below are some frequently asked ones. If you need further information, please feel free to reach out to us.
Frequently Asked Questions
We build, preserve, and operate affordable homes to rent throughout the Seattle area. We work to strengthen communities and empower residents wherever we work, and run the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict on Capitol Hill.
We believe everyone has the right to a quality, affordable home. This truth drives our work to build and sustain affordable, resident-centered communities. With nearly 50 apartment buildings home to over 2,000 residents across Seattle, we support communities that are socially just, culturally rich, and environmentally sustainable. We are rooted in community-led development and work in deep partnerships because we know that together, we can foster better communities. As members of the Seattle community for over 40 years, we are committed to meeting the evolving needs of the community.
We came to the recognition that we had outgrown our previous name, Capitol Hill Housing. From the beginning, we have been about community. What started in Capitol Hill in the 1970s was the idea that everyone should live affordably in their neighborhood, in their community. As the idea grew, we responded to housing needs in Belltown, the Central District, and neighborhoods beyond. While building and preserving affordable apartments, we focused on the people who lived there. Over time, we began to build more than just buildings. We built relationships with neighborhood organizations, and the artists, businesses, and people in those neighborhoods. We began to develop programs that not only met the housing needs of our residents, but also served the community around them. We embrace our roots, past and present, in our new name.
We are Community Roots Housing.
Our name has changed, but our commitment to community and making a difference in people’s lives has not. Community is the place we set down roots, create relationships, and build our lives. In this housing affordability crisis, people are being pushed out of their communities by the impacts of racism, inequality, and gentrification. As we move forward, we will continue to listen and respond to community priorities so that the people who live there have an enduring place to call home. We will just do it under a different name – a name that emerged from our community and better reflects the organization that we are today.
Our residents represent all walks of life: single parents and their children, senior citizens on fixed incomes, freelance artists, service industry workers, educators, neighbors transitioning out of homelessness, and refugee families escaping political strife.
We provide a platform for growth. Our commitment to our residents doesn’t end once they enter our buildings. We work to provide a path to stabilization, growth, and community for many families and individuals. In 2019 alone, we gave over 700 referrals for our residents to connect them with community programs and services beyond housing. These programs help people leverage their strengths and in turn builds stronger, more resilient neighborhoods.
Founded in 1976 as a response to redlining and disinvestment, Community Roots Housing was originally chartered as a Public Development Authority. Read about the growth of our organization here.
Community Roots Housing is as committed as ever to the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Nearly half our buildings are on the Hill, and we’re still the Community Development Corporation for the neighborhood, representing community interests. Our main office remains at 12th Avenue Arts.
The name Community Roots Housing reflects the fact that we work across the city of Seattle and beyond. This does not change the work of the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict. This work is still led by staff at Community Roots Housing and continues every day.
A Public Development Authority (PDA) is a public corporation created by a city or county to perform a distinct public purpose or public function. Examples of PDA projects include developing the Seattle Art Museum, developing City Hall on Mercer Island, restoring Officers’ Row in Vancouver, managing the Pike Place Market in Seattle, and developing the Convention Center in Bellevue. To learn more about our status as a PDA and how we are governed, visit our Board & Governance page.
The Community Roots Housing Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that mobilizes resources for Community Roots Housing. The Foundation raises funds to sustain general operations, helps launch new initiatives, and bolsters the expansion of programs like Resident Services. Learn about the Foundation’s leadership and how to support our events here.
There are a variety of ways to engage and stay connected throughout the year. Visit our Get Involved page to learn more.