Welcome Message from Dr. Steven Holt
The Oversight Committee of the North/Northeast Neighborhood Housing Strategy is committed to compassionate engagement and community support for those who have historically been voiceless. This committee champions the cause of prioritizing safe, affordable, and attractive housing opportunities for some of the most vulnerable populations in Portland. It operates as a neutral party between the City of Portland and the various housing providers who occupy this space.
Portland continues to be one of the most gentrified cities in the U.S. The gap in affordability continues to be an issue. For many people of color homeownership and/or new and safe rentals are out of reach. Funding allocated for affordable housing is tenuous and land availability is decreasing.
Welcome to the work of the Oversight Committee. Formed in 2015, and comprised of community members and other stakeholders, this committee has heralded the call and cause of affordable housing. For eight years, volunteers (like you) have given their time and talent to engage with real and hard-hitting issues related to affordable housing. The issues are tough, but the committee is tougher.
Several positive results can be directly attributed to this collaboration. Significant housing developments, both rental and home ownership, have been achieved. Land has been purchased and secured for future development. Displacement has been prevented for some by their having access to low to no-cost loans for home repair. The City of Portland and the nonprofit providers have strengthened their relationships. Most importantly, over 1,000 people are living in new housing! The future is bright.
This is the work of risk. This is the work of change. It means extra steps to do business differently and transparently. It means evenings spent in community spaces with the City and with service providers being accountable to community members. It means being uncomfortable while doing what is right. This is teamwork.
I want to officially welcome and acknowledge four new N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategies Oversight Committee team members. Please join me in welcoming Adrian Mashia, Estelle Love Lavaspere, Saelee Winters, and Ta’Neshia Renae. They have willingly stepped in to assist in pushing this work forward.
I want to express my personal appreciation to each of you for your willingness to become a part of this committee. Thank you for being willing to risk it! Thank you for being willing to invest your time. Thank you for helping to ensure that the promises made become the promises kept.
We have work to do. Let’s Go!
Dedicated to Excellence,
Dr. Steven Holt, Committee Chair
“History has shown us that courage can be contagious,
and hope can take on a life of its own."
New North Portland Housing Announced
The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) recently announced four new projects for funding from Metro’s Regional Housing Bond that will create 267 new units of affordable housing in North and Southwest Portland, including rental and homebuying opportunities.
Three of these new projects are located in the N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy area, including a parcel donated by Kaiser Permanente on N. Interstate Avenue.
Two of the projects—the Carey Boulevard site and the Strong Family property—have received conditional awards, based on additional requirements for homeownership adjustments to their proposals. Increasing homeownership opportunities in North/Northeast Portland is a priority for the City and the N/NE Oversight Committee.
PHB will submit the four proposals for concept endorsement by Metro, whose approval is expected to take 30-45 days. Learn more about these projects below.
3715 N. Interstate Avenue
Northwest Housing Alternatives and the Urban League
Named after Oregon’s first Black woman legislator, Margaret Louise Carter, Carter Commons will deliver 62 units of senior housing to the Overlook Neighborhood for N/NE Preference Policy households. Click here for full profile.
Strong Family Property
4931 N. Williams and 20-114 N. Alberta
Community Development Partners and SEI
The proposed project offers 75 rental units, 11 of which will be affordable to households earning 30% AMI or below. 72% of the units will be family-sized with two or more bedrooms. Resident services and community outreach will be provided by SEI. Additionally, the project sponsors will continue to research how the proposal could include homeownership units. Click here for profile.
6623/6631/6702 N. Syracuse St, 7235 N Minerva Ave, 6634 N. Oberlin St
Habitat for Humanity with Proud Ground
The proposed project is a clustered arrangement of 53 townhomes with two-four bedrooms. All affordable at 60% AMI and below. PHB has offered a conditional award for the development team to pursue including detached single-family homes as well. Click here for full profile.
Back Story: The Strong Family
One of the awarded projects will be built on a property formerly owned by the Strong family, whose history in N/NE Portland goes back generations. “We were not a rich family, but rather a hard-working family,” said Jackie Strong. “We were able to buy a property right across the street from where we grew up.”
In 2019, the Strong family, including Jackie Strong, his nephew Mark Strong, and niece Kathy Rhodes, sold the nearly one-acre property to the City of Portland to be land banked for future affordable housing. According to Mark, the family chose to sell to the City to ensure the property would benefit the N/NE community, rather than risk it ending up in the hands of a developer with “no heart, concern, sense of justice, or moral compass.”
The property, located at the prominent intersection of N. Alberta Street and N. Williams Avenue, embodies a visual and historical significance for long-time residents of North and Northeast Portland.
“The community has been an integral part of our lives, and to witness all the changes in N/NE Portland has been disheartening to watch,” said Mark Strong. “The fingerprints of the African American community being etched away has been very painful. We wanted to do something different.”
Utilizing the N/NE Preference Policy, the new development will prioritize families displaced by the harmful legacy of urban renewal in N/NE Portland. Amenities will provide indoor and outdoor spaces where residents can gather for community events, classes, informal get-togethers, and recreation at the onsite play structures. SEI will provide resident services and outreach with an emphasis on supporting African American families with incomes of 30% AMI or below.
“We are so grateful that you are looking beyond economics and looking at creating a place to bring folks back to the community they know as home,” said Kathy Rhodes.
5020 N. Interstate Breaks Ground
Construction has officially begun at 5020 N. Interstate on a new family-focused housing development by Self Enhancement, Inc. and Community Development Partners. Utilizing the N/NE Preference Policy, the project aims to provide culturally specific affordable housing for displaced and longtime residents of North/Northeast Portland.
The 5020 project was awarded Metro Bond funding from PHB in 2021. The project is comprised of 63 units with a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, available to households earning 60% or less of the area median income.
As part of the larger Alberta Alive vision, the development will also leverage community assets on Alberta Street, including the Alberta Abbey, which will serve as a community space for residents to congregate and participate in activities and workshops. SEI will oversee resident services and onsite events as well as connections to SEI's many school-based and after school programs, less than a mile from the project site.
"When I think about what used to be here and the people who used to be here who are no longer here, to have the opportunity to be a part of partnerships that are putting together low-income housing for some of those folks to have a pathway back is just really, really important and really, really meaningful to me personally," said SEI Founder, President, and CEO Tony Hopson, Sr.
Welcome to our new N/NE Oversight Committee Members!
Estelle Love Lavespere
Ms. Love Lavespere is native to Portland, her family lived and owned both homes and business in NE Portland. She is a member of the Historic Albina Advisory Board, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Life Change Church, and NAYA. She has worked for several non-profit community organizations in finance positions. Learn more.
Adrian Mashia, Sr.
Mr. Mashia is native to Portland, he grew up in NE Portland, and attended schools in Portland. His experience includes DEI educator, trainer and facilitator; elementary school teacher, and youth football coach. Learn more.
Ta' Neshia Renae
Ms. Renae is a professional and entrepreneur from Portland. She is a veteran of the US Air Force and holds a bachelor's degree in Human Services. She is currently a Democratic Party of Oregon Precinct Committee Member and the Multnomah Community Involvement Committee Chair. Learn more.
Ms. Winters is a native Portlander who graduated from Jefferson High School and currently resides in NE Portland. She is a Strategic Realtor known for community engagement and hosting classes on how to buy and sell real estate as a pathway to building generational wealth. Learn more.
N/NE Preference Policy Rental Update
PHB began offering in-person Preference Policy information sessions this month, to answer questions and share information with the community about upcoming rental opportunities and how to apply. These in-person sessions will be offered on a quarterly basis, with the next sessions scheduled for April 20 and 22 (location TBA). Event details will be posted here when new sessions are confirmed.
N/NE Preference Policy rental applications are accepted on a rolling basis—there is no closing date. Applicants on the waitlist are transferred to the housing provider for available units when their name reaches the top of the list. We are currently booking in-person appointments at our offices at 1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7007 as well. To book an appointment, click here.
Farewell, Matthew Tschabold!
This month, long time PHB executive Matthew Tschabold will be leaving to serve on the staff of newly elected Governor Tina Kotek. During his nine years at PHB Matt has been hugely instrumental in collaborating across bureaus to develop critical housing policy, in particular the N/NE Preference Policy, while championing the work of his fellow colleagues, partners, and his staff. Everyone who knows Matt has wonderful things to say about him!
We asked Matt to share a few words before departing:
"Most importantly I want to say thank you for including me in the community-driven effort, working to redress the historic injustices in North and Northeast Portland. Significant progress has been made, and there is much more that can and needs to be done. During my time at the Housing Bureau, the opportunity to work with community members and leaders to develop and implement the North/Northeast Neighborhood Housing Strategy has been some of the most meaningful and impactful work I have ever done."
Matt will be greatly missed! We wish him tremendous success as he embarks on this next chapter, and we are thrilled he will remain our close partner in the work to ensure housing opportunities for all.
"As the effort continues to move forward, I’d ask that all of us who are part of this housing strategy not lose sight of its roots – that taking on the difficulties in undoing impacts of the past requires us to stay committed to doing things differently, and to lean in rather than waver when challenges emerge."
Understanding the Resale Process - Proud Ground
Tuesday, January 31
5pm – 6pm
Free! Register or learn more
Financial Beginnings Workshop Series: Income & Taxes - Proud Ground
Wednesday, February 8
6pm – 7:30pm
Free! Register or learn more
Estate Planning 101 - African American Alliance for Homeownership (AAAH)
Tuesday, February 28
1pm – 2pm
Free! Register or learn more
N/NE Oversight Committee Meeting
Thursday, March 9
6pm – 8pm
Hybrid - online and in-person
New Song Church Community Center, 220 NE Russell St, Portland, OR 97212
Agenda and meeting materials will be posted closer to the date.