Capitol Hill Housing Improvement Program

Specialty: Affordable housing
Executive director: Chuck Weinstock
Year founded: 1976
Location: Seattle
Largest project of 2002: Helen V, a 38-unit apartment renovation

Though apartment rents throughout Seattle have been held in check by high vacancy rates for the last couple of years, Chuck Weinstock still sees plenty of need to expand affordable housing options.

Weinstock is executive director of the Capitol Hill Housing Improvement Program, a public development authority that develops and manages low-income housing throughout Capitol Hill and surrounding neighborhoods.

Weinstock said the organization typically completes about two projects a year, and 2002 was no exception. In 2001, CHHIP acquired the Helen V, a 38-unit brick walkup at 1319 E. Union St., and completed renovations on the roof and internal systems last year. Tenants in the building earn up to 50 percent of the area median income.

“It’s an exciting project from a neighborhood perspective,” Weinstock said. “There’s been a lot of change in that 12th and Madison area (with the expansion of the Seattle Academy). It’s nice to preserve a building for the long term.”

The organization also spent $3.2 million to acquire and rehabilitate the 34-unit Oleta Apartments at 1816 Bellevue Ave. Tenants there earn up to 60 percent of the area median income.

This year, CHHIP will renovate of the landmark Pantages house at Harvard Avenue East and East Denny Way. Plans include tearing down two houses on adjacent lots and constructing a new building that will tie in with the 1904 Steamboat Victorian home built by Alexander Pantages, a colorful vaudeville theater operator.

Another project includes some minor renovations to Lincoln Court at 11th Avenue East and Denny.

The organization’s financing comes from a variety of sources, including foundation grants, the city of Seattle and funds from the Seattle housing levy. CHHIP also has 900 residential units in 36 buildings and 30,000 square feet of commercial space from which it draws income.

Weinstock said the organization would like to look at broadening its reach to include first-time homebuyers.

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