Bellevue Schools Foundation to study affordable housing in the community

Research made possible with $250,000 grant from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund

On May 13, the Bellevue Schools Foundation announced it is examining workforce housing opportunities to support the Bellevue School District.

The research, funded by a $250,000 grant from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund, will evaluate and assess housing options, preferences, and needs of Bellevue School District employees and help increase diversity in its teaching staff of almost 1,500 educators.

As the population of Bellevue continues to grow, BSF says identifying viable workforce housing options for district employees will help the District attract and retain a diversified, highly qualified workforce.

The Bellevue School District serves over 19,000 students, enrolled in 30 schools. With 104 languages spoken and 41.2 percent of students speaking a first language other than English in the Bellevue School District, Bellevue Schools Foundation is committed to expanding funding for racial equity and amplifying the diverse voices and strengths of students and families within the Bellevue community, according to BSF.

“High-quality education starts with teachers and those who support them. We need to better understand the financial structures and potential benefits of creating workforce housing for Bellevue School District educators.”

The Bellevue Schools Foundation is the recipient of a $250,000 grant from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund— Amazon’s more than $2 billion commitment to create and preserve 20,000 affordable homes in its hometown communities of the Puget Sound region and other Amazon-based communities. The funding will support the research study and consultancy services on the viability of affordable housing opportunities for teachers in Bellevue.

“We established the Amazon Housing Equity Fund from our belief that all people should have access to housing they can afford,” said Alice Shobe, global director, Amazon in the Community. “We’ve set out to help protect and create affordable housing for families with low-to-moderate incomes like teachers, but our approach also includes grants to advance housing research and analysis.”

The study is currently underway and expected to be complete by this fall. The study scope includes surveying Bellevue School District employees on housing priorities and challenges, researching how other school districts are creating workforce housing, and exploring potential sites and financing structures.