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Bremerton Housing Authority set to open new space
The Bremerton Housing Authority will open the front door of its new office building to the general public Dec. 9.
Located in downtown Bremerton at the corner of Sixth Street and Park Avenue, in the former home of Windermere Real Estate, the new facility brings BHA central operations to downtown Bremerton, where it will be close to community partners and have convenient access for clients via public transportation.
For the first 69 years its existence, the Bremerton Housing Authority was located in the middle of the old West Park housing development. When that development was demolished, the agency made its way to a Wheaton Way strip mall. Earlier this summer, the agency bought the downtown building for $1.33 million.
Bremerton Housing Authority Executive Director Kurt Weist said late this summer that buying the downtown location mades the most sense for his agency.
“We’ve been saving some money for an opportunity to find a permanent location for us and this building came at a time that fit perfectly for what our space needs were and what our location wishes were,” he said. “We feel very fortunate that this building was available when we were looking. We weren’t able to find anything in our short search that had anything close to what this building had to offer.”
While purchasing the property, the housing authority was poised to off a remaining $1.65 million in debt for its second floor space in the Norm Dicks Government Center and pay off about $1.5 million in debt for a short-term loan used for the Tamarak Apartments. The new building will also eliminate a monthly rent of over $25,000 to have offices on Wheaton Way.
The housing authority will keep about 50 employees in the government center and have about 50 more at Sixth and Park. Weist said having the offices only one block apart will be a lot more convenient. The new building will also have plenty of parking and be more accessible for clients relying on bus service.
“I’m just thrilled to be so much closer now and only a block a way, it just helps facilitate operations,” Weist said. “Our staff on Wheaton Way are also excited about moving back downtown, particularly knowing there is parking available for them.”
Created in 1940 by a resolution of the City Commission of Bremerton, BHA provides high quality, stable and sustainable housing and related services to people who have limited financial means.
The agency’s goal is to help clients become economically self-sufficient and at the same time strengthen communities. BHA strives to use its public and resources efficiently and effectively. Over 2,000 households receive assistance each month through BHA’s various affordable rental assistance programs.