Two Seattle affordable housing organizations—Bellwether Housing and Common Ground—are merging.

The new combined organization will operate as Bellwether Housing.

The merger positions the two organizations for the long term, especially at a time of reduced public subsidies, says Sarah Lewontin, executive director of Bellwether.

“Both groups were looking beyond just one or two years,” she says. “We were looking strategically, and combining forces will allow us to be more efficient and flexible, with deeper and broader skills.”

Bellwether has developed 60 affordable housing projects and continues to own and operate 30 of these properties, providing 1,900 apartments to individuals and families.

In total, the two groups estimate that they have developed more than 11,000 affordable homes over their shared history in Seattle, King County, and diverse communities throughout Washington.

As of Oct. 1, six Common Ground staff members will join Bellwether Housing for a combined staff of about 90.

The new organization will work in three main areas—joint project development, development services, and asset management and optimization services.