SEATTLE, WA - Bellwether Housing and the Evergreen Impact Housing Fund (EIHF) announced the opening of The Aries at Bitter Lake, bringing 200 affordable apartments to the North Seattle community.
The Aries is the first project funded by EIHF to open to residents, proving that innovative financing can boost the supply of much-needed housing. EIHF provided patient and low-cost catalytic capital for The Aries which, paired with more traditional financing sources, allowed the project to move forward on time and efficiently.
"We are delighted to see The Aries open to working families," said Kris Hermanns, Fund Manager of EIHF for the Seattle Foundation. "This project is a testament to the power of collaboration in addressing our state's affordable housing crisis. When public and private sectors work together, we can create positive, sustainable change in Washington State. It is an honor to celebrate this impactful addition to the community."
"The investments in affordable housing made by this region's business sector have been transformative," said Susan Boyd, CEO of Bellwether Housing. "The Aries will be home to 200 families who previously had a tough time finding stable housing. They can now afford to live near transit, great schools and close to job centers. These homes and the stability they represent simply would not exist without the investments made by the EIHF."
Large-scale affordable housing projects with family-size units often face financing constraints, especially in urban centers. The Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) provided an allocation of bond cap and low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC) for The Aries. This public funding and EIHF's private capital worked together to move the project forward. ;"Our state needs affordable housing at all income levels," said Steve Walker, WSHFC executive director. "EIHF provides an important piece of the funding puzzle, filling critical gaps and stretching public funding to do more. Ultimately, that allows more working families to stay in Washington State and call this place home."
Representatives from Bellwether, EIHF, and project supporters gathered for the grand opening of The Aries earlier today. The event featured remarks from Boyd Hermanns, Paul Buckland, Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo, and Selina Mendoza, Vice President at CitiBank. The morning culminated in a ribbon-cutting and guided tours of the building.
The Aries is located at 916 N 143rd St, situated near a community center, bike trails, the Bitter Lake Reservoir, as well as public transportation on Aurora Avenue. The Aries units cater to families of four earning up to $66,420 and individuals with an annual income of $46,500. Many of the apartment homes are two- and three-bedroom units that are well-suited for families.