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Portland's Housing Bond July 2023 Newsletter

Portland's Housing Bond, Investing Together in Affordable Homes
The July 2023 edition of our Portland's Housing Bond Newsletter. A letter from Commissioner Rubio - Funding Swap Between Two Projects - The Joyce opens - Major Milestones Abound - Charting Bond progress

A Welcome Message from Commissioner Rubio

Dear Fellow Portlanders,

A photo of Commissioner Carmen Rubio.

What a difference six months makes! In our 2022 Progress Report for Portland's Housing Bond, I proudly told you about seven Bond projects containing 853 affordable homes open to new residents. Today, I'm thrilled to report that three more projects have opened either fully or partially, bringing us to more than 1,100 affordable homes opened with Bond funding. And with two groundbreakings already this year, there is now only one Bond project that has yet to begin construction.

That project, as you'll learn below, is a new addition to the Bond roster: hollywoodHUB, which will bring a total of 222 units of transit-oriented affordable development to an amenity-rich neighborhood in central Northeast Portland when it opens in 2026.

As we get ever closer to fulfilling - and outperforming- the promise of Portland's Housing Bond, I want to yet again thank the voters who prioritized a vision of a more just, safe, and diverse city when they passed the measure in 2016. This investment, the first of its kind in Portland history, marks a commitment on behalf of all Portlanders to ensure stable, affordable housing for the most vulnerable among us. As we envision next steps, let's reflect upon the amazing things we can accomplish when we work together as a community towards a future in which everyone has an affordable place to live.


Commissioner Carmen Rubio

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Funding Swap Between Two Bond Projects

Rendering of HollywoodHUB, a 12-story cream and charcoal-colored affordable housing development in Northeast Portland's Hollywood neighborhood.

In conjunction with our partners at Metro, the Portland Housing Bureau is re-allocating funds between two affordable housing projects in our development pipeline, one supported by Portland's Housing Bond and the other by the Metro Affordable Housing Bond. This funding “swap” will more efficiently and expediently bring new affordable homes to Portland’s housing market. 

What’s changing

The 149-unit Barbur Apartments, initially funded through Portland’s Housing Bond, will now instead receive funding from the Metro Affordable Housing Bond; while the hollywoodHUB project, originally funded by the Metro Bond, will now receive funding from Portland’s Housing Bond—149 of hollywoodHUB’s 222 units will now be counted as Portland Housing Bond units; the remaining 73 units will continue to receive Metro Bond funding and will be counted toward the goals of the Metro Bond. This funding swap between the two projects will not alter any of the current unit counts for either Bond—the number of total units, family-sized units, and deeply affordable (<30% AMI) units for each Bond will remain the same.

Why we decided to swap the funding

Funding for affordable housing is always complicated and has only grown more challenging in the volatile market conditions that followed the COVID-19 pandemic. Affordable housing developers must assemble a capital stack of funding sources for each project, which usually includes a conventional mortgage loan, tax credits, and other sources of funds from public or private sources—each with their own particular set of rules and regulations.

Both the Barbur Apartments and hollywoodHUB were awarded PHB funding through competitive solicitations in 2021, with the Barbur project applying for Portland Bond funds, and hollywoodHUB applying for Metro Bond funds. When the Barbur Apartments project was awarded Portland Bond funding, the development team was in the process of assembling their capital stack and planned to apply for Local Innovation and Fast Track (LIFT) funds from Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS).

This year, however, OHCS designated its LIFT and Housing Trust Fund (HTF) resources to support Metro Bond projects only, leaving the Barbur project with a $4 million funding gap. There would not be another opportunity to apply for the additional funds until 2024, which would have delayed construction until mid-to-late 2025.

While hollywoodHUB was awarded Metro Bond and LIFT funds, they would have had to change their funding plan to accommodate LIFT rules, leaving that project with a new funding gap as well.

concept sketch of outdoor area of the building, with space for families and activities
Barbur Apartments

PHB was able to work with Metro to find a solution that would allow Barbur Apartments to move forward much more quickly: swap funding sources between the two projects. Substituting the Portland Bond funds for Metro Bond funds in the Barbur apartments allowed us to allocate the additional LIFT and HTF funds to the development, while an equivalent number and type of units in hollywoodHUB would shift to the Portland Bond.

With the swap, hollywoodHUB will be fully funded and reach financial close by mid-2024, and Barbur Apartments will reach financial close by late 2024/early 2025.

Apply for Housing!

These Bond projects are currently accepting applications. Follow the links below to find more information on how to apply.

Hayu TIlixam
Cathedral Village
Las Adelitas
The Starlight
Crescent Court Apartments
East Burnside Apartments 
The Ellington Apartments

Anna Mann House
The Aurora

Renewal at the Joyce

A photo of the speakers at the Joyce Grand Opening cutting the ribbon.

The Joyce celebrated its grand opening in Downtown Portland on June 6, offering people exiting homelessness a chance to heal, rebuild their lives, and recover from the trauma of living outside.

For decades, the Joyce served as a short-stay hotel, providing low-cost, low-barrier housing to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents. The newly renovated Joyce, developed by Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH), now provides 66 efficiently designed, affordable single room occupancy units of Permanent Supportive Housing to house individuals and couples exiting homelessness. Partnerships with Cascadia Health, Native American Rehabilitation Association (NARA NW), and Cascade AIDS Project will provide on-site wrap-around supportive services. All 66 units have Project Based Section 8 vouchers so that the project can continue to serve extremely low-income residents.

“The City of Portland is proud to support the redevelopment of the Joyce, which has long served this city as a haven for people who otherwise would land on the street. Preserving this community asset so that it can continue to serve the same vulnerable population—close to services, transportation, and opportunities—is a critical piece of our commitment to ending homelessness in our city,” said Portland City Commissioner Carmen Rubio. 

"Today, we celebrate not only the grand opening of a beautiful new building, we also celebrate what is possible when we come together as a community to solve our toughest challenges. I want to thank CPAH for their tireless commitment to keeping the original mission of the Joyce alive and well for future residents in need of low-barrier housing,” said Portland Housing Bureau Interim Director Molly Rogers.

A photo of the Joyce, a four-story brick redeveloped affordable housing building.
A photo of an apartment at the Joyce, with two large windows, cabinets, wood floors, a microwave, cooktop, and fridge.
A community area at the Joyce, with gray and yellow chairs and coffee tables.

Major Milestones Abound

The past six months saw significant developments for 5 Bond projects:
In February, Alder 9 began construction. The 159-unit development will open in the fall of 2024 in Southeast's Buckman neighborhood.

That same month, the south building at Emmons Place opened its doors to residents. This building contains 47 units of Permanent Supportive Housing for those exiting homelessness, wtih a particular focus on homeless seniors. Emmons Place's north building will open this fall, with another 97 units for low-income seniors in the Alphabet District.

The courtyard at Emmons Place South, with tables and chairs, foliage, string lights, and a brick facade.

The East Addition to the Anna Mann House opened in April in the Kerns neighborhood. These 50 units will soon be joined by another 78 in the South Addition and the redeveloped existing portion of the Anna Mann House.

A photo of the East addition at Anna Mann House, a three-story brick building with bay windows and gabled roofs.

In May, the Aurora opened its doors to residents in the Glenfair neighborhood of outer East Portland. The 93-unit project will provide stability to families in need, and also includes 16 units of Permanent Supportive Housing for formerly homeless individuals. We look forward to celebrating the Aurora's grand opening this fall. 

A photo of the Aurora, a five story gray and charcoal apartment building.

Finally, in late June, Francis + Clare Place achieved financial close, meaning it can now begin construction. Francis + Clare will bring 61 units of Permanent Supportive Housing to Buckman when it opens next year. With this milestone, all but one Bond project is now open or in construction.

Architect's rendering of Francis + Clare Place, a gray four-story building with gabled roofs and large windows.


Map of Portland showing the locations and statuses of all 15 Portland Housing Bond projects in Portland. Includes sidebar indicating that all major goals are being exceeded.

Portland's Housing Bond is supporting 15 projects, with eleven open, three currently in construction and opening in 2024, and one in pre-development, for a total of 1,859 units. Click here to learn more about the Bond's progress.

What's Next

Bond Oversight Committee Meeting

Thursday, October 5, 2023   |   9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
This meeting will be held both online and in person at PHB's offices in the 1900 Building. Please register regardless of how you plan to attend. You can register and find meeting materials online here.