Revitalizing existing affordable buildings

Seattle is growing and changing rapidly, but we can do it in a way that prioritizes the needs of the community. We work to make the city a more welcoming place by preserving affordable housing, arts and green spaces, supporting access to transit, and helping our neighbors have a voice in the decisions shaping the city.

One of our most core tenets is: Everyone has the right to a quality, affordable home. In some cases, those quality homes are produced not through new construction, but through a reinvestment in our existing portfolio.

Affordability can’t wait.

Community Roots Housing is committed to the preservation of affordable housing that is at risk due to market pressures or physical deterioration. With millions of dollars invested in capital improvements in the past few years, several buildings have undergone major rehabilitation including masonry repair, apartment renovations, and new roofs. In 2020, there have been major investments in multiple buildings including:

  • El Nor building$44.5 million will be spent on El Nor, 18th Avenue, and Ponderosa to retrofit an unreinforced masonry building as well as significant cosmetic refurbishments to make these homes feel brand new. In addition to substantial seismic upgrades, all three buildings will now have new windows, roofs and energy saving features.  The kitchens will have new countertops, cabinets and appliances, and the bathrooms will have new shower heads and toilets. Each apartment home will also feature new measures in energy efficiency: LED lights are being installed, as are programmable thermostats and low-flow facets. The Ponderosa will even have a new rooftop solar array. Read more about this project here.
  • With more than $46 million in city and state funding, the preservation and rehabilitation of the Bremer, John Carney, and Boylston-Howell buildings in Capitol Hill and Belltown will safeguard 106 permanently affordable homes for individuals and large families earning between 30% and 50% of the Area Median Income.
  • $600,000 of work including rehabilitation to the roof, masonry, and windows is underway at the Silvian apartments

We strive to safeguard affordability and rehabilitate buildings. This improves the quality of life for residents by providing decent, safe, and affordable housing. Our needs are greater every year as housing stock ages, with over $10 million minimum still needed to keep our affordable housing portfolio in good repair for our residents.

Building to Last

Community Roots Housing is leading an ongoing movement toward sustainable preservation. Improving existing built resources is not just environmentally friendly; it has a direct impact on the quality of life for the residents of those affordable homes.

Interested in partnering with us on another project to preserve affordability? Contact Thea Munchel at

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