Three Washington state nonprofits have joined together to create CIRC, a new brand that provides affordable housing and services to older adults and families. Sustainable Housing for Ageless Generations, the Community Life Foundation and Downtown Action to Save Housing, all in the Puget Sound area, are the partners.

CIRC will serve as the affordable housing arm of Bellevue, WA’s Transforming Age. In February 2021, Transforming Age and SHAG partnered to further their shared goal of helping older adults sustain housing, essential services and social connection. The creation of the CIRC brand reinforces the vision established by the highly praised affiliation between Transforming Age and SHAG and paves the way for Transforming Age to become one of the nation’s leading affordable housing providers, according to CIRC. 

“Integrating housing and services allows us to holistically address the needs of older adults, across the economic spectrum. CIRC will play an important role in Transforming Age’s push to expand further into middle-market senior housing and develop solutions to serve the vast number of seniors needing sustainable and affordable housing solutions,” Torsten Hirche, CEO of Transforming Age, told the McKnight’s Business Daily. 

“We’re taking the best practices of all our affiliates and bringing them together to provide desperately needed affordable housing opportunities for seniors and families in the Puget Sound area. We think there’s an opportunity to leverage our combined resources and deliver innovation to a market and industry that needs some new ideas,” he added.

Each organization brings different expertise to the new brand, allowing CIRC to provide both housing and services to a wide range of residents, according to the partners. In the short term, CIRC will work on developing, owning and operating affordable housing communities and providing resident services and programs to communities owned by external partners, much as CLF did. Over time, all existing communities will be re-branded as CIRC communities.

“CIRC has the best of both worlds right now,” Karen Lucas, executive director of CIRC said n a statement. “We’ve got the energy and excitement of a startup, combined with the experience that SHAG, CLF and DASH bring to the table.”

The name “CIRC” itself has no particular significance, Lucas said.

Hirche said the group has “a number” of new developments in the pipeline.“There are a lot of aging baby boomers that don’t qualify for subsidized housing and can’t afford private-pay senior living options, so there’s no question that there will be continued high demand for affordable housing for seniors in Puget Sound,” she said. “We think there will be opportunity for us to grow, but we’ll continue to be smart and strategic with our approach.”