BHA Then and Now
In 1940, shipyard workers and their families were flooding into the Bremerton area at incredible rates to satisfy the war effort at the Puget Sound Navy Shipyard. From 1940 to 1943, the population of Bremerton rapidly expanded from 15,000 to 80,000. the need for stable housing was of utmost importance, and with that in mind, the Bremerton City Commission established BHA on July 17, 1940.
In the Beginning, BHA was primarily concerned with building new housing options for shipyard workers, military personnel,
and their families. Through community partnerships, dedicated leadership, and the wherewithal to leverage available funding, BHA was able to transform the city's landscape with more than 6,000 housing units by the end of WWII.
For the past 75 years, BHA has continued to serve the Bremerton community as leaders for housing advocacy, building new affordable housing, acquiring existing housing for adaptation, and replacing vintage units. And today, the need for BHA and the services they provide is as great as ever. BHA is still focused on strengthening communities and empowering individuals to become economically self-sufficient. the organization has evolved to offer a range of programs and services to encourage economic self-sufficiency.
Always mindful of the need for sustainable funding to meet the area's housing needs, BHA has also become a model for the responsible stewardship of resources and achieving return on investments.
As the methods for meeting community housing needs have evolved, BHA remains committed to its mission.
Executive Director Kurt Wiest sees housing as "the most predictive variable for success when assisting people toward economic self-reliance". Though housing needs and economic drivers have changed a great deal since 1940, BHA continues to maintain an important role in shaping and strengthening the Bremerton community.