Member Highlight: Environmental Works

HDC appreciates all the passion, hard work, and dedication our members devote to the affordable housing movement. No single organization could make this impact and secure this progress alone. The collaboration and connection among members is the human energy that works to ensure all people have a safe, healthy, and affordable home. We want to show our appreciation and learn more about our affordable housing community through these member highlights as each member is crucial to achieving the larger vision of this movement. This week our featured member is one of our founding members, Environmental Works. Thank you for all the work that you do!

  1. What excites your team about the work you are doing?

Everyone at Environmental Works is passionate about our mission of designing culturally appropriate places for underserved populations.  Our team loves it when we are  engaged in community design processes for our projects.  Community design ensures that our constituents have a voice in the design of their homes, feel ownership and pride of place where they live, and are empowered to craft their communities in ways that are specific to their needs and culture.

We are also excited to be increasing our capacity to serve underserved communities!  We have expanded our team to 20, to keep up with increased need for affordable housing and community facilities.  We recently renovated our offices at the historic Fire Station 7 (our home for over 45 years) to accommodate our growing staff.

  1. What is a favorite office anecdote?

EW’s board and staff have an annual tradition during the winter holiday season of preparing a meal for residents of a recent project we have designed.  It’s a great way to stay connected to the people we serve, and to commemorate the importance of housing for all.

  1. What upcoming projects, partnerships, and news are you looking forward to?

The Everett Safe Streets Project with Catholic Housing Services, under construction now, will be one of the first net-zero supportive housing facilities in Washington thanks to a special award from the Housing Trust Fund.

The Bryant Manor Apartments redevelopment, in partnership with the FAME Housing Association and Catholic Housing Services, is an exciting project on a great property that is serving a critical need for Black families in Seattle’s Central District.  This is a project full of opportunity to connect with the existing community, and reconnect with members of the community who have been displaced in recent years.

  1. What have you been most proud of during your time as an HDC member?

We are proud to have been one of the original members and founders of HDC, and to continue to work with this tight-knit group of passionate and inspiring individuals to ensure that people in Washington State have homes they can afford.  We are grateful that HDC provides an opportunity for all of us to come together, so that we can connect with people who have worked on other aspects of our projects (such as financing).  EW’s Christina Congdon notes, “The HDC leadership course was a great way to meet colleagues, and helped me feel more confident as a member of the housing community.”