About the BHI Network Policy Group

Leading policy change for Black homeownership in Washington state.

The Black Home Initiative (BHI) Network Policy Group leads policy and advocacy for the Black Home Initiative, a regional effort to address inequities in our housing ecosystem. Our members work together to identify policies with the greatest promise for closing the racial homeownership gap, and to unite our communities around shared advocacy goals.

Our Work

The BHI Network Policy Group includes more than 125 stakeholders with expertise in affordable housing, homeownership, public policy, advocacy, and community organizing. The Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County is honored to serve as the lead convener of the BHI Network Policy Group. We convene monthly to:

  • Coordinate a cohesive policy strategy to advance Black homeownership in Washington state.
  • Bring our communities together around shared advocacy goals for Black homes.
  • Study promising policies and compile a Homeownership Policy Framework.
  • Work with policymakers and local leaders to inform new legislation.

Policy in Action: The Covenant Homeownership Act

Our advocacy paid off in a big way in 2023 with the passage of the Covenant Homeownership Account bill. This landmark legislation makes Washington the first U.S. state to face and address the role of government institutions in housing-related racial discrimination.

Learn more about the implementation of this historic law.

Our Story

In 2022, with a state legislative session approaching, the BHI Network Policy Group came together for the first time to answer one core question: What policies will most effectively increase Black homeownership in Washington state? Our goal was to collect the most promising policies in a framework, one that would inform a cohesive advocacy strategy and unite our broader networks toward common goals. After months of research, feedback sessions with bill sponsors, and deep dives into potential policies, we formed our first Black Homeownership Policy Framework, summarizing the 11 proposed policies with the most potential for Black homes.

In 2023, this work paid off with the passage of a first-of-its-kind law. The BHI Network Policy Group helped to inform the historic Covenant Homeownership Account bill, which aims to redress some of the harm caused by racist covenants and other discriminatory policies on Black communities in our state.

The BHI Policy Network is the policy arm of the Black Home Initiative. Policy is one of seven focus areas in the BHI 7-Point Plan, a comprehensive plan that was the result of the collaborative work of more than 90 partners. Seattle is one of six U.S. cities included in a national effort by the Center for Community Investment (CCI) to target racial inequities in housing. Our partner, Civic Commons is the convening organization for the Seattle site.