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Forging a New Type of Partnership: Bellwether Housing and Gelbgroup’s Working Friendship

In the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Bellwether Housing strives everyday to change the narrative around affordable housing—to make it the norm rather than the exception. We recently caught up with Jeffrey Craig, Bellwether Housing’s Director of Information Technology, whose 20-plus years of experience in the nonprofit sector brings a unique perspective to the organization. Jeffrey shares insights into Bellwether’s journey, its commitment to affordable housing, and the evolution of its partnership with Gelbgroup Consulting. 

Jeffrey’s journey within the nonprofit sector has been nothing short of diverse. Having traversed roles from property accountant to property manager and eventually evolving into an IT specialist, Jeffrey’s well-rounded experience equips him to navigate the challenges of the affordable housing landscape with finesse. 

Bellwether Housing: A Force for Affordable Housing 

Originally known as Seattle Resources Group, today Bellwether Housing is the largest nonprofit affordable housing developer and property management company in the Seattle area. The organization’s merger with Common Ground further solidified its standing. After more than 40 years, Bellwether is steadfast in its commitment to changing the narrative around affordable housing and ensuring the needs of working-class individuals are met. 

Bellwether’s impact extends beyond its immediate community. The organization plays a leadership role in consulting with affordable housing organizations nationwide. The development team provides guidance on navigating challenging markets, best practices in deal formulation, and education on tax credit partnerships and affordable development projects. 

As Bellwether sets its sights on its 50th anniversary in 2030, Jeffrey outlines the organization’s ambitious goals. Successfully surpassing its five-year plan to reach 2,500 units in just three years, Bellwether aims to become the West Coast leader in affordable housing, making it the norm rather than the exception. 

Traits in a Yardi Consulting Partner 

Jeffrey sheds light on the qualities he values in a consulting partner. Transparency, collaboration, communication, and a sense of humor are crucial. He emphasizes the importance of building a bond of trust and reliance that underpins a successful partnership. 

Jeffrey’s association with Gelbgroup spans five years, dating back to 2018. He commends the collaborative and transparent nature of their relationship, highlighting the successful transition during the Yardi conversion. 

Describing the partnership between Bellwether and Gelbgroup as a “working friendship,” Jeffrey underlines the value of transparent and honest communication as an essential foundation for collaborating in a meaningful way. 

“Our partnership as a ‘working friendship’ is totally accurate. We have meaningful, transparent conversations that make our collaboration valuable at every step.” He continued saying “I’d recommend Gelbgroup without hesitation. They’re always on the tip of my tongue when anyone needs Yardi consulting services. Gelbgroup has the skill set necessary to take an issue from report to resolution. And that’s awesome.” 

Jeffrey Craig, Director of IT, Bellwether Housing

As Bellwether Housing continues its journey towards its 50th anniversary, Gelbgroup’s mission remains: to empower and help them achieve their “big hairy audacious goals.” From our initial engagement five years ago; to the Gelbgroup Academy certifications that Jeffrey and his colleagues earned; to its collaboration with Support Services and Help Desk today, Gelbgroup looks forward to an enduring and empowered “working friendship” with Jeffrey and Bellwether Housing.