Welcome Message from Leslie Goodlow
Hello and Happy New Year! I’m Leslie Goodlow, Equity and Business Operations Manager for the Portland Housing Bureau. I have project managed the N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy since its inception in 2015. A longtime NE Portland resident, I attended Irvington, Fernwood, and Grant High School. Portland is truly home, and I love this city!
In 2020 we were set to celebrate the 5-year anniversary of the N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy when COVID hit. At the time we had surpassed our rental unit goal by 122 units, a wonderful achievement! Over the last two years we have assisted 60 families in becoming new homeowners—remarkable considering the pandemic!
This year, PHB will be working with the new Williams & Russell CDC to plan for the project on the Legacy property, and with Self Enhancement Inc. (SEI) and Community Development Partners (CDP) on the 5020 N. Interstate property. We will also begin our planning work for properties on Carey Blvd and Alberta/Williams. The N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy has had many successes over the last six years, requiring a lot of hard work and dedication from PHB staff and our community partners who are committed to the belief that “place matters.”
I want to personally thank the members of the N/NE Oversight Committee, many of whom have been on the committee since 2015. They continue to be the voice of the community, providing feedback and constructive critique to ensure PHB and our partners keep our promises. The oversight committee will be making its annual report to council this Spring. Check the website for information on how to watch the presentation.
Here’s to a successful 2022!
Leslie Goodlow, LMSW
“Success is measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”
—Booker T. Washington
Asset Preservation Pilot Here to Stay!
The Homeownership Asset Preservation Pilot is now a permanent PHB program! The program, which was launched by PHB in 2020 thanks to community advocacy and support from the N/NE Oversight Committee, offers estate planning services from the African American Alliance for Homeownership (AAAH), in partnership with the Commons Law Center, for longtime homeowners in N/NE Portland. Services Include:
- Estate Planning Educational Workshops
- Wills, Revocable Trusts, and Living Trusts
- Probate and Estate Administration
- Real Estate Title Transfers
- Power of Attorney
As of last fall, the program had served more than 170 households with estate planning webinars and has enrolled 28 households to receive direct case management and estate planning assistance for their homes. For more information, visit aaah.org or call 503-595-3517.
Meet Your Newest N/NE Oversight Committee Members!
Aquiles Montas loves Latin music! After starting a band in the 80’s, he soon began serving as an ambassador for Latin music in Portland, engaging with people from all over the world, helping many find jobs, housing, and healthcare services. Today, Aquiles brings that same passion, leadership, and commitment to serving the Portland community utilizing his bilingual, bicultural, and youth development experience as a case manager at Multnomah County. “My aptitude for relating to people of all ages and backgrounds has proven to be invaluable in strengthening both communities and relationships,” he shared.
A resident of North Portland since 1978, Aquiles joined the N/NE Oversight Committee a year ago, feeling called to participate in the decision-making efforts that impact economic prosperity and affordable housing in N/NE Portland. “We have a good mix of minorities and having their opinions, suggestions, education, experience, and ideas being heard is so valuable.” Confident the members voices are being heard; he hopes they continue to increase their impact on policy decisions.
A lifelong resident of North Portland, Gabriela Mercedes Bolívar has advocated for education and social justice in Portland for decades. Gabriela has served on several Portland Public Schools and Oregon Department of Education committees, including her current work on the Site Council for Ockley Green Middle School. In addition, she recently served on the Jefferson High School Design Committee and will be actively working on the next PPS Bond to modernize Jefferson high school where her two eldest kids attend school.
Excited to bring her experience and skills to the N/NE Oversight Committee, Gabriela states the committee is different from others. “I have never served on a committee that has been so well organized and thoughtfully done. But it's more than that.” Gabriela says the committee members feel empowered to use their voice. “I've never had that before. I've served on so many committees where I felt like it was the opposite. They already had an intended outcome, and you needed to ride along with that. Here, everyone’s questions are valued, and it’s just amazing. It's been a huge blessing that I didn't expect."
Most people would never guess John Washington moved to Oregon to become a farmer. After retiring from professional football, John discovered that he owned a filbert orchard 30 miles outside of Portland, so he moved to Oregon. He and his son would come into Portland for basic needs, like haircuts. “I come from a place where Black cats get together and cut each other’s hair. But there weren’t any around.”
In addition to haircuts, his family frequently visited NE Portland for food and entertainment, and John realized there were only a few Black media outlets—notably the Skanner and the Observer. So, John decided to start Flossin’ Media. The magazine and media outlet has now been in existence for 18 years, and John credits his success to his mother’s example as a community advocate, and his business ownership experience, which he says provided him “harmony and freedom.” That is exactly what he hoped to share with others. “I wanted to see Black people and people in my community be liberated from the woes they had, including access to wealth.”
Today, in addition to serving as one of the newest members of the N/NE Oversight Committee, John also oversees the Soul Business District Association, which produces the annual MLK Dream Run.
Join the N/NE Oversight Committee!
Do you have lived experience in N/NE Portland? Are you passionate about restorative justice and housing equity? Are you interested in influencing housing policies, strategies, and resources?
The Portland Housing Bureau is now accepting applications for the N/NE Oversight Committee. The committee oversees implementation of the N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy and reports annually to City Council. Members commit to meeting every other month (currently via Zoom) for renewable terms of two years. No experience is needed; we will provide training.
Farewell, Dana Shepard!
This month, N/NE Neighborhood Housing Program Manager Dana Shephard will be leaving the Portland Housing Bureau to become the new Deputy Director at the Portland Housing Center. During her seven years at PHB, Dana has worked to make homeownership opportunities accessible for the N/NE community. Thanks to Dana and her team, 95 Preference Policy families have become first-time homeowners!
Dana joined the bureau after attending a series of community forums, which led to the development of the N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy—a heroic, community-led initiative to address the displacement of longtime North and Northeast Portland residents.
“The past seven years working with the Oversight Committee have been a time of challenge, growth, reward, and accomplishment. Together we have worked as a community to re-imagine, restructure, and restore. The progress made nearly seven years later for Black homeownership, utilization of City resources, and policies such as the Preference Policy, will remain one of the highlights of my career for many years to come. Thank you for allowing me to serve with you!”
Dana will be greatly missed, but we wish her well as she embarks on her next chapter and we are thrilled she will remain our close partner in this work to eliminate the minority homeownership gap by improving access to wealth-generating opportunities for the community. “I am excited that I get to continue working with such passionate leaders and citizens in this new role. What we’ve accomplished tells a powerful story of what can happen when we work together and dream big.”
Metro Bond Funds New Affordable Housing in N/NE Portland
In November, the Housing Bureau awarded funding from the Metro Affordable Housing Bond to seven new affordable housing projects, including three that will be focused on serving BIPOC and/or Preference Policy families in inner N/NE Portland:
- Developer/Sponsor: Community Development Partners (CDP), Self Enhancement Inc. (SEI)
- Total Units: 64
- Developer/Sponsor: Albina Vision Trust, Edlen & Co.
- Total Units: 94
- Developer/Sponsor: Home Forward
- Total Units: 84
PHB is proud to partner with Metro, and the many community organizations that have come together to create these new affordable housing opportunities. Learn more
The Portland Housing Bureau has contracted with Oregon Law Center and Portland Community College to provide free legal services to low-income renters facing eviction. Renters who receive a termination notice or a summons for an eviction court case should call the Eviction Defense Project at 888-585-9638 or email email@example.com to seek these free services.
Renters who need help paying their rent should call 2-1-1 for help applying for rapid rent assistance (even if they’ve already applied elsewhere). Case managers can work with tenants and their landlords to obtain rent assistance within a matter of days. For more information, visit: multco.us/rentrelief
AAAH Presents: Virtual Homes for Sale Bus Tour
Saturday, February 19, 2022 from 10am – 12pm
Virtually tour homes for sale in the Portland Area, learn about first-time homebuyer programs, and speak with mortgage loan officers, real estate agents, and pre-purchase counselors. Participate in Black History Month Trivia and win prizes throughout the tour!
Register to attend
Proud Ground - Financial Beginnings Workshop Series: Goals & Tools
Wednesday, February 23, 2022 from 6pm – 7pm
Register or learn more
Proud Ground - Financial Beginnings Serie de Talleres: Objectivos y Herramientas
Thursday, February 24, 2022 from 6pm – 7pm
Register or learn more
N/NE Oversight Committee Meeting
Thursday, March 10, 2022 from 5:15pm – 7:30pm
An agenda and meeting materials will be posted online.