Preserve Holly House

Social and economic justice consistent with UU principles.

To what extent is this option consistent with the social & economic principles of our church and the denomination?

We ensure that the house is being used for a social justice purpose. We are able to select and work closely with organizations that use or inhabit the property, and through so doing, are assured that the property is being used and managed in concert with our church’s interests and values related to social justice and support for the neediest in our community.

Preservation of historic properties demonstrates long-term vision by preserving irreplaceable cultural resources and promoting sustainability practices by conserving our limited environmental resources. In fact, most congregants don’t know that Holly House is one of the oldest houses in the city of Bellevue. By preserving historic structures, we are able to share the very spaces and environments in which the generations before us lived. Historic preservation is the visual and tangible conservation of community cultural identity.

By maintaining stewardship of the grounds and P-Patch, sanctuary is provided to gardeners, wildlife, plants and trees and a small part of the rapidly-disappearing urban forest land is being preserved. We will be actively demonstrating sustainable food production practices and taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint. A garden curriculum can be created to enhance our Religious Education program. The gardens have also provided outreach to the neighboring residents and the P-Patch program has made possible additional financial donations to deserving organizations.

Who will benefit or be harmed by any change?

Benefits: Continued fulfillment of social justice causes in a direct, tangible, and coordinated effort with local specialist organization(s), demonstrating continued service to the neediest in our larger community.

Adverse effect: If an arrangement with Sofia Way cannot be made, then the current residents would have to find an alternative living facility.

What demands will be placed on the congregation?

Building repairs and maintenance oversight would be handled by the Facilities Committee and staff. Depending on the use of the house, staff would need to interact with service providers or residents to handle administrative and onsite needs.

Implementation time

How long will it take to plan and implement this option?

Repairs and maintenance would be implemented per the schedule outlined in the Reserve Analysis commissioned by East Shore. This analysis identified future issues along with the anticipated year when they would need to be addressed and the associated costs. The analysis took into account Holly House’s current age and condition. As with any house of any age, repairs and maintenance is expected and is done continuously over time. Major repairs would begin in 2018. Potentially, after Sofia Way’s contract expires in June, 2017, we would upgrade the facility to justify charging higher rates.

Please see attached spreadsheet with details of anticipated activity, timing, and costs taken directly from the Reserve Analysis


Are there risks and liabilities for the church/congregation? What are they and how significant are they?

Potential risks are unanticipated repairs as well as items not identified in the Reserve Analysis. As the analysis is a forecast, the timing of future issues and costs may vary. Setting an income level that provides a sufficient buffer would mitigate the risk.

Being unable to find an appropriate means for increasing income represents another area of risk.

Are they short term or long term or both?

See above.

Financial implications

What would be the financial impact of this option on the church/congregation?

The upper portion (rows 2 through 87) of the accompanying financial analysis begins with the repair/maintenance activity, timing, and cost identified in the Reserve Analysis. A line item for unanticipated costs has been added. Below that are three scenarios (rows 93 through 95) representing various income levels. The first keeps the income rate as it is with Sofia Way. The second is a minimal sustainable level that finds the lowest price we can charge to meet costs and has no negative balances. The third option is based on the current market rate for the property and house. All costs are adjusted for inflation and income is periodically increased to meet the rising costs.

The bottom section (rows 100 through 103) shows a running balance of the Holly House fund. It assumes we begin at an estimated $40,000.

Positive and negative?

Keeping the income level as is, will not be sustainable and will force ES to divert funds to cover the costs. However, as seen in the sustainable scenario, with a modest price increase, repair, maintenance, and unanticipated costs can be met without having to use outside sources. Acquiring market rate would allow us to more than cover costs and would provide enough income that funds could be redirected to other uses.

Short term and/or long term

Scenario 2018 Income Rate HH Fund Minimum Balance HH Fund 2046 Balance
As is $1,000 per month -$110.1K -$52.0K
Sustainable $1,300 per month $0.7K $116.5K
Market Rate $3,200 per month $31.6K $1,071.5K

Impact on the Current Campus

How will the proposed project affect our current campus, if any

This option will not adversely affect the current campus. We will continue to own the land and property. The House will continue to serve populations in need, the condition of Holly House will be improved and the land, including p-patch will be available for continued ES use.

We will be preserving one of the oldest houses in Bellevue and its grounds.

Ideas for further integration with our congregation should be considered

A ‘community housing’ committee could oversee the relationships between East Shore and residents of Holly House and between East Shore and the community social justice organization partner.  Interactions between the church and the residents + partner organization could be planned and the relationships could be strengthened, to the benefit and comfort of the residents and to the enlightenment of more members of our congregation about housing-related challenges in general.  Personal relationships could be developed that would benefit all involved.

A well maintained Holly House could provide additional income to the church in several ways:

  • Renegotiated terms with Sofia Way
  • Provide low cost cooperative housing for UUs. For example, market rate can be achieved from six residents paying $533 per month each.
  • Another social justice organization focused on housing those in need may partner with our church