Times are good for apartment developers, owners and investors in Seattle. Economics in the region and demand drivers continue to contribute to growing rental rates, leading to higher values. All ships rise in such tides, well most ships. The challenging side to such growth is the pressure placed on those without the income and means to take part in the prosperity.

During early morning hours on January 29, 2016, the 36th Annual One Night Count of homeless people in King County took place and in a three hour period from 2 am to 5 am counted 4,505 people living without shelter. Of the total count, nearly 3,000 homeless were in Seattle.

The challenge of homelessness is not new to Seattle nor unique to any urban center. And homelessness is not the only housing issues. Due to rising rents, many people in the region relocate from urban centers to more affordable areas of the region – yet such moves often displace families and relationships and impact jobs and transportation systems.

There are no easy answers, yet some incredible people and organizations are finding solutions to ease the burden on many in our region and giving back in multifamily. If you have a little extra time, money or resources, or in the case of the first example – an “extra” apartment, I encourage you to Give Back in Multifamily.

Win a Free Apartment for a Year

Really, a free apartment for a year? Yes! Walls Property Management is facilitating an essay contest that awards the winner free rent for a year in an apartment in either of Queen Anne or Ballard (pretty tony neighborhoods for a contest winner!).

As described on the promotional website www.essayforfreeapartment.com, the 350 word essay should answer the question: How would a free apartment for one year help you reach your goals in 10 years? The winner in 2015 was a working, single mother studying for a degree at Seattle Pacific University.

The contest’s website has nearly 21,000 views and to date Walls Property Management received 375 essay submissions. If you know someone in need, the essay submission deadline is March 31st. Better yet, Walls Property Management would love to have more owners participate to allow for more winners (the current owner chose to remain anonymous). You can contact them directly on their Landlords Page.

Bill Hobson & DESC

Today marks two weeks since the passing of Bill Hobson. Bill was the former executive director of the Downtown Emergency Services Center (DESC), an organization that houses over 1,100 people in 10 residential programs and provides nightly emergency services to 275 homeless individuals.

Bill was a champion for those underrepresented in our community and worked tirelessly for over 30 years to fight chronic homelessness and change perceptions about those in need. I was fortunate to meet Bill when I first moved to Seattle and volunteered for DESC. First-hand, I witnessed his compassion and relentless representation of those in our community most chronically in need of shelter.

Although Bill has passed, his mission and that of DESC continues. The organization is always in need of volunteers, donations and advocates. You can learn more about Bill’s life and his work at Remembering Bill Hobson.

Capitol Hill Housing

Capitol Hill Housing owns and manages 48 buildings in urban Seattle neighborhoods. These buildings provide housing to over 2,000 low and moderate income individuals and families. As part of its mission, CHH helps people live closer to work, families and urban conveniences. As our community urbanizes, helping people at all income levels live in the city provides for a more diverse community and eases strain on our transportation systems and use of resources.

CHH greatly benefits from involvement with Seattle’s for-profit real estate community. In addition to donations to help further their programming, CHH is always looking to grow their portfolio through acquisition of existing buildings or development. Review their Acquisition Criteria to see if you know of a building/site to help them growth the services they provide.

Other Fantastic Organizations

There are many other organizations in Seattle that focus on providing housing on a non-market rate basis. All of these organizations need and deserve recognition and support. Please explore the following organizations and causes. Get involved as much as you can and join a great community of people who Give Back in Multifamily:

Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI)

Plymouth Housing Group

Bellwether Housing

City of Seattle Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda (HALA)

We focus on the sale of market rate apartment buildings, yet find participation with and support of organizations that provide housing for all people important to our community and our business.


Understanding both current and future market dynamics is critically important in positioning both your assets and your investment thesis for optimum returns. Our apartment investment sales team, comprised of four highly qualified professionals, and a back-office team of an additional four dedicated staff, specializes in assisting apartment owners in maximizing returns. We focus on representing buyers and sellers of apartment assets from 5 units to 500 units. Please give me a call to discuss how we can turn our expertise into your profit. – Dylan