Letter From the Executive Director
Message from our Executive Director
Picture of Major Galloway (left) with Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin (Right).
As a new resident of the City of Everett community, I have joined a team of nearly 140 housing, property management, maintenance, and social service professionals.
We at EHA want to increase the affordable housing supply in our city and Snohomish County by building and developing safe, quality, affordable housing, while providing resident service programs that combat poverty. Our staff work every day to help youth and families move up the income ladder toward long-term economic self-sufficiency and assist seniors and people with disabilities with living independently and enhancing their quality of life.
We own and manage 36 multifamily residential properties comprised of almost 2,200 units and we administer almost 3,800 vouchers. Overall, we provide homes to over 4,000 families. EHA assists thousands of households in Everett and Snohomish County every year to obtain and maintain quality affordable housing.
EHA is a national leader in the affordable housing industry located in the Puget Sound region. Over the last decade, EHA has transitioned to self-finance and self-development by developing and acquiring affordable and market rate housing. EHA issues governmental bonds with its A+ Standard and Poor’s rating to finance development to increase the affordable rental supply.
In 2020, EHA’s Board of Commissioners adopted an ambitious strategic plan that was developed over the course of a year with significant input from staff. As I join EHA, I am reaffirming my commitment to that strategic plan and will work with the Board and staff to move the needle on our goals and create opportunities for the people we serve - families, seniors, people with disabilities, and our youth, the next generation.
The following is a list of our strategic priorities to accomplish our mission and how I will keep that work moving forward.
Strategic Objective 1: Create 1,500 EHA-owned or supported housing units by 2030 primarily through new development.
EHA has already made significant strides toward this goal through the completion of 105 new units at Madrona Square and acquisition of the 381-unit Huntington Park Apartments. The EHA Development Department, led by Jason Morrow, is moving forward to develop an additional 1,500 or more units by 2030. The Development team is well positioned to increase the supply of affordable housing in our community under his direction.
In addition to growing our portfolio, we aim to create partnerships and to offer innovative housing assistance and resources that will empower our residents, to help them move up the income ladder and enhance their quality of life.
Strategic Objective 2: Direct our resources towards creating diverse, healthy communities of opportunity where children and adults flourish.
EHA is taking steps to increase our participants’ access to low-poverty neighborhoods of opportunity and undertaking de-concentration efforts as part of its housing development and neighborhood revitalization efforts. During the upcoming year, we will be undertaking planning efforts to identify the high opportunity areas in our community and developing a mobility strategy to connect voucher participants to landlords in these areas.
In 2021, EHA was selected to participate in the highly competitive federal Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration, which we locally refer to as Making Things Work. As an MTW agency, we are pursuing local policies and innovations that will allow us to meet the local needs and market conditions. This will enhance the provision of voucher assistance throughout Everett and Snohomish County.
Strategic Objective #3: Foster a workplace where every employee is proud of their contribution to EHA’s mission.
As a new member of the Everett community, I have consistently told the Board and my team that I am joining the team. Over the next several months, I will continue to meet with all employees to hear from them and learn about all aspects of EHA operations and about the community that I now call home. As a new leader, it is important for me to listen and learn from the excellent team around me.
I will also be implementing new initiatives to increase employee satisfaction, including an employee recognition program with financial rewards. EHA, led by Director of Human Resources and Administration Linda Hoston, will be undertaking a comprehensive salary study to ensure that we have competitive pay and benefits so we can attract and retain talented staff to serve our residents and the community.
Strategic Objective #4: Race – as well as other physical or social or characteristics or sexual orientation - of any client or staff will have no impact on how they fare in EHA’s programs or their potential in the organization.
There is a long legacy of racism and discrimination in housing which has led to disparate outcomes for people of color and other marginalized communities. I am committed to EHA’s mission of reducing poverty and ensuring that all EHA residents and participants, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or other immutable characteristics, have the same opportunity to reach their full potential.
EHA’s key self-sufficiency initiative, Thrive+, launched by Director of Policy and Innovation Janinna Attick, will provide about 850 voucher families with the opportunity to access counseling and employment assistance services to help them move up the income ladder.
By May 2024, EHA will also be launching a career planning and mentoring initiative to help develop a personal roadmap to vocational training, college, or the military for middle and high school youth. During the summer, youth participants will engage in experiential learning activities introducing them to an array of career fields. They will also learn to play chess and be introduced to a variety of life skill topics including how to study, time management and financial literacy.
EHA has been consistently ranked as a high performer by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and our programs have consistently received national recognition, including being the recipient of multiple NAHRO Awards for our innovative and groundbreaking methods of meeting the local community need.
Each day, our entire team remains committed to providing excellent housing and growing and developing affordable housing throughout the city. EHA is on the path of “Good to Great” Housing Authorities nationwide.
Whether we’re partnering with city leaders to develop strategies for addressing affordable housing needs or working with local agencies to identify resources to help the most vulnerable, EHA collaborates with individuals and organizations dedicated to helping disadvantaged families.
EHA takes pride in working in our community and investing in our properties because it not only benefits residents, but the Everett community. We look forward to continuing to serve and deliver quality housing and services for families in need.
We are committed to serving! We will remain diligent in these endeavors.
MAJOR S GALLOWAY, III