February 2018 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Our Homeownership Center Has a New Home!

HomeSight’s Homeownership Center has moved to a new location on MLK Jr. Way S. and S. Othello St. in the Othello neighborhood of Seattle! The move means our Counseling and Lending departments (and the ever-so-talented Front Desk Coordinator Lilly) are located at 4219 S. Othello St., Ste. 130-B and the rest of the HomeSight departments (Administration, Finance, Community Development, Real Estate Development, Resource Development, and Communications) remain at 5117 Rainier Ave. S. Stay on the lookout for an announcement about our upcoming Open House at the new Othello location!

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Entrance to HomeSight Homeownership Center's new office. Photo courtesy Renai Mielke.

So, what does staff think about the new Homeownership Center location? Let’s ask them!

Overall, everyone loves being on the Light Rail line which means access to a lot more food choices. Numerous staff are enjoying eating at Othello Wok and Teriyaki (right next door!), Le’s Deli & Bakery, and Cafe Red. The location of the Othello office also allows Homeownership Counselor Danielle to ride the Light Rail directly to the office, cutting 35 minutes from her commute!

Melody, the Homeownership Center Director, loves the visibility and foot traffic at the new office. Front Desk Coordinator Lilly has been enjoying observing drivers stopped at the traffic light in front of the office. One notable instance was a semi-truck driver jamming on an acoustic guitar he pulled out from behind his seat while he waited for the light to change. Lilly has also developed a habit of waving cheerfully at passersby, who have had mixed reactions.

One big change at the Othello location is that two staff members have their own offices! Melody says it’s better for concentrating, but she misses the camaraderie that came from sitting amongst her staff. HomeSight’s Underwriter, Robin, loves having her own space. It’s definitely a change from the “sardine” situation we had become accustomed to!

The Othello office has yet to have its first four-legged visitor! Loan Processor Rita says she’ll probably bring in her dog Cooper, who mostly sleeps under her desk all day. A frequent visitor to the Rainier office was Program Coordinator Renai’s pup Sage. Hopefully he’ll stop by the new Homeownership Center soon!

However, the hardest adjustment at the Othello office is that this brand new space is not yet vibrant with banter, snacks, and energy like the Rainier office. The Homeownership Center staff miss having their coworkers around all the time and appreciate whenever they stop by!

Othello is Getting HOSTED

What is HOSTED you may be asking? Well, HOSTED stands for Healthy Othello Safer Through Environmental Design. The project, started in 2016, identifies areas in the Othello neighborhood where there are high occurrences of person-on-person crime, injury, and locations where community members feel unsafe (called ‘hotspots’). These experiences have been determined to have a negative impact on community members’ health and well-being. In Rainier Valley, residents have historically had shorter lifespans than residents of other neighborhoods in the Seattle area. A committee of residents and partners, led by long-time community member Cynda Rochester, want to help change that by creating opportunities to make the environment safer through community driven, non-arrest solutions that are working elsewhere.

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Cynda Rochester, HOSTED Project Manager, overseeing Unity Trail gardening efforts. Photo courtesy of Cynda Rochester.

The geographic boundaries for this project are S. Kenyon St. to the south, S. Graham St. to the north, Interstate 5 to the west, and Rainier Ave. S. to the east. With the help of Public Health Seattle & King County, HOSTED identified 11 physical locations, using Seattle Police Department data, where the number of person-on-person crimes and other incidences that cause, or could potentially cause, injury have increased or remained stable. The stretch of S. Othello St. between MLK Jr. Way S. and 39th Ave. S. is the number one hotspot. Following this identification, the committee learned more about Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), and then performed a site survey and captured and described the area’s assets and challenges. Some community recommended solutions for the safety challenges have already been implemented. The committee received a grant to install solar light posts; consulted with Seattle Neighborhood Group on a site survey and report focused on the path connecting the west part of New Holly with Van Asselt Community Center, access to public transportation and identified the entities responsible for the area; a grant to name the path (Unity Trail), install signs with the name, and do the much needed gardening maintenance. Safeway has also decided to address one of the committee’s recommendations by agreeing to paint a mural on their south-facing wall.

Currently, the committee is now building relationships with property-owners, business-owners, community organizations and other community members to pursue more CPTED recommendations for physical improvements at our hotspots, and provide more opportunities for people to learn about CPTED, restorative justice practices, and how they can increase the feeling of safety for themselves and their neighbors. Meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month at Van Asselt Community Center from 6-7:30 p.m. and everyone is welcome to attend. HOSTED will also hold additional community town hall meetings to engage more neighbors. Agenda and meeting reminders will be sent to those who share their email address, are on the NewHolly Neighbors Facebook, Othello Neighborhood Facebook, and the local Next-Door neighborhoods. People who are interested in being more involved with this project or know people and organizations who would be a good connection in this project, please email Cynda Rochester at HOSTEDPM@gmail.com.

Project partners are Onboard Othello, HomeSight, Seattle Neighborhood Group, Othello Station Community Action Team, and Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County.

Seattle Homeowner Stabilization Loan Program

HomeSight is pleased to announce the launch of the Seattle Homeowner Stabilization Loan Program. We have received a $484,000 investment from the City of Seattle - Office of Housing Housing Levy to originate foreclosure prevention “rescue loans” to help homeowners in jeopardy of losing their home. These funds are for a two-year pilot period at which time the City will decide whether to continue the program.

Homeowners experiencing temporary hardship or facing default or foreclosure whether from mortgage lender, property taxes or a condo association, may qualify for a low interest rescue loan up to $30,000 to help resolve the default. These loans will generally be available to owners who have fallen behind in payments and have exhausted other options and need assistance getting caught up, or who need additional funds in order to secure a loan modification, pay back taxes or condo dues.

For more information, or to find out if you qualify, contact:

WASHINGTON HOMEOWNERSHIP RESOURCE CENTER HOTLINE at (877) 894-4663.

Meet the Home(Sight) Team

The words "small but mighty" come to mind when talking about HomeSight Staff Accountant Pamela Mayo. While small in stature, Pamela is mighty when it comes to keeping HomeSight’s finances in check. But, it isn’t always debits and credits when it comes to this accountant the sun-loving, always smiling Pamela is a go-to when you need recommendations about the best places to eat in Mexico (one of her favorite places) or if you’re wondering whether you serve a chardonnay or pinot grigio with your creamy chicken and mushrooms dish (the answer...you should actually serve a pinot noir (!) because of the earthy mushrooms. I guess chicken doesn’t automatically mean white wine (!)). 

What else do you need to know about our staff accountant? Find out in this month’s edition of The Home Team:   

Meet the Home(Sight) Team: Pamela Mayo, Staff Accountant

Why did you decide to come to HomeSight?

I started at HomeSight in May of 2008 after returning from a year in Mexico. I love that I am assisting my neighbors to become homeowners so that they can build security and community for their families. In addition, I enjoy accounting  it is like doing puzzles all day every day.

Tell me about your connection to Bothell, Washington.

David Bothell was my great-great-great grandfather. In 1885, relocating from Pennsylvania, he purchased 80 acres and built a home into which he took in boarders. When the house burned down, he constructed the Bothell Hotel. Eventually, Bothell incorporated as a city on April 14, 1909, and the first mayor was David Bothell's son, George. The family left Bothell right before WWI because my grandfather, Howard Bothell, left to serve at the Yangtze River. He met my grandmother at a post office in Seattle and they lived on the water in the Bryn Mawr-Skyway neighborhood. Howard started Bothell Chevrolet in Auburn and it remained in the family until 2002.

How many countries have you traveled to? And is there a place you stayed the longest?

The travel bug bit me long ago I have visited 14 countries on three continents. After three months of extensive travel in SE Asia, I lived in Bali for a year in 1982. While in Bali, I had my own clothing line company called Solar Angel Imports. I also spent 2007 in Mexico at Lake Chapala, near Guadalajara.

You're quite the entrepreneur, how many businesses have you owned?

I have owned six businesses before coming to work at HomeSight.

  1. Solar Angel Imports in Bali and Seattle
  2. Blue Note Café in Boise, Idaho
  3. The Captains House in Nampa, Idaho
  4. Blue Water Bistro in Bellingham, Washington
  5. Buckaroo Jackpot in Walla Walla, Washington
  6. Flying Sommelier (Wine Tasting and Education) in Seattle, Washington

How did you get into the wine industry?

For my 50th birthday I decided to give myself the gift of going back to school. I attended the Wine Academy at South Seattle Community College and completed a Wine Marketing Certification. Then I went on to study with the International Sommelier’s Guild and obtained a Sommelier certification. I taught Wine Appreciation and Wines of the World at Seattle Central Community College until my grandson Elijah (translate love of my life), and daughter Channing came to live with me in 2015.

What will be the next business adventure?

Nothing, I plan to retire in Mexico and travel Central America. 😄

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