October 2023 N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy Newsletter

Newsletter
mural with faces
October updates from the N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy.
Published

Welcome Message from Commissioner Rubio

Commissioner Rubio smiles in a portrait photo

Happy fall season, N/NE Community members!

I always enjoy this time of year, but the change in weather is a timely reminder of the importance of equitable housing so everyone can access the shelter they need. 

This year has brought many opportunities to expand housing access and services for residents across the city.  An example in inner N/NE Portland is an exciting new pilot program in development, the Security Deposit Assistance Pilot Program. This program is intended to explore program models and evaluate the impacts of providing financial assistance for traditional moving expenses such as security deposits, application fees, and moving supplies to help assist participants of the N/NE Preference Policy program in overcoming housing barriers. Partnering with the United Way, Portland Housing Bureau will distribute $56,250 to directly assist program participants with qualified moving costs, which we recognize can be a determining factor for many families struggling with houselessness.   

All too often, public policy and market pressures work to displace longtime residents from the N/NE community. Efforts to reverse this legacy requires sustained commitment, resources, and leadership, culminating in projects like the Hattie Redmond and the forthcoming Dr. Darrell Millner Building, which is under construction with our Metro Affordable Housing Bond funds. These intentional efforts are trauma-informed, culturally specific, and client-centered from their building design to their programming, and projects like these are needed to stem the tide of ongoing displacement of the N/NE Portland community, and to remedy the overrepresentation of Black residents in our houseless population. 

As we celebrate the new season, and the ongoing work of the N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy and our partners, we also bid a bittersweet farewell to Interim Director Molly Rogers, who left PHB this month to serve as Housing Director for Washington County.

Thank you, Molly, for your continued dedication to expanding access to affordable housing citywide and to delivering on our commitments to the community. 

And join me also in welcoming Molly's successor as Interim Housing Director, Michael Buonocore.  Michael brings more than 30 years of experience in the public and nonprofit sectors, including 20 years at Home Forward, the housing authority for Multnomah County.

Commissioner Carmen Rubio

"Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand."
African Proverb


News: 
Housing Bureau Launches New Healthy Homes Initiative

person inspecting an attic for leaks

PHB has been granted $2 million from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to assist homeowners and renters with incomes up to 80% of the Area Median Income (or no more than $72,240 for a family of two) to identify and remediate housing-related health and safety hazards—from installing bathroom handle bars to repairing leaky roofs or replacing damaged floors—with a focus on addressing hazards caused by radon, lead, and excess moisture. The program aims to assist 110 households by May 2026.

For questions about eligibility or more information on how to apply, email Bev.Keagbine@portlandoregon.gov.


Home Repair Loans Available

man caulking a window

The Portland Housing Bureau received additional funds this year from Prosper Portland to provide low- to moderate income homeowners in the Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area with 0% interest loans for critical health and safety repairs, such as:

  • Damaged or failing building components: failing roofs, dry rotted floors, broken or damaged stairs, siding or foundations

  • Imminent failure of heating, electrical or plumbing systems

  • City of Portland housing code violations and other fire, health, and safety issues

The Home Repair Loan Program provides 0% interest loans to help eligible homeowners. There are no monthly payments, and the loan is forgiven after 15 years, as long as the homeowner remains in the home for that time. Learn more about eligibility and the application process at Home Repair Loan on Portland.gov.


Updates:

Albina One Breaks Ground

Rendering, families enjoying the large pathway and gardens to the side of the building

Albina Vision Trust (AVT) has been busy at work to bring their vision for a reconnected, thriving, lower Albina to reality. At the heart of this vision is exploring how development in Albina can create shared wealth-building opportunities while cultivating a community rich in relationships and grounded in the history and resilience of Black Portlanders. Phase One of their vision is the Albina One project, which recently began construction in the Eliot neighborhood. AVT commemorated this milestone in August with an inspirational "Sunday Dinner" event at the Prophet Education Center, where guests enjoyed live musical accompaniment from Grammy-award winning jazz musician Esperanza Spalding

When it opens in summer of 2025, Albina One will provide 94 units of affordable family-focused housing for displaced or longtime residents of North/Northeast Portland through the N/NE Preference Policy – complete with Afrofuturistic building design and on-site resident services provided by POIC. The Portland Housing Bureau supported the development with Metro Housing Bond funds.

Learn more about Albina Vision Trust's work in the N/NE Portland community.

Albina One groundbreaking event. Left - a line of participants holding shovels. Right - participants enjoy the festivities.

N/NE Preference Policy Waitlists are Open

a child plays in the playground at Songbird

N/NE Preference Policy rental applications are now accepted on a rolling basis. There is no closing date. Applicants on the waitlist are transferred to housing providers for available units when their name reaches the top of the list.

Click here for more information on how to apply or attend one of our upcoming information sessions on: 

  • Thursday, November 16
  • Saturday, November 18 

(Confirmed locations will be posted on the Preference Policy homepage.)

We are also currently booking in-person appointments at our offices at 1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7007.

Book an in-person appointment

Open Buildings:
Garlington Place
Beatrice Morrow 
Charlotte B. Rutherford Place 
Magnolia II
King + Parks
Songbird
Renaissance Commons

New Buildings in Development:
Dr. Darrell Millner Building – Opening Late 2024
(Community Development Partners and Self Enhancement Inc.)

Albina One – Opening Spring 2025
(Albina Vision Trust)


Four New Developments Named in Honor of Prominent Black Portlanders

Dr. Darrell Millner

Plaque commemorating Dr. John D. Marshall building, built in 1952.

When the new family-focused housing development at 5020 N. Interstate opens its doors next year, it will be known by a new name: the Dr. Darrell Millner Building, in honor of former Department Chair of Black Studies at Portland State University, Dr. Darrell Millner. Dr. Millner earned a doctorate in Education from the University of Oregon in 1975 and is an expert on the history of African Americans in the western movement with a special focus on Oregon and California. He currently serves on numerous local, regional, and national boards and organizations.   

Located in the Overlook neighborhood, the Dr. Darrell Millner Building furthers the goals of the N/NE Preference Policy to redress historic displacement from North/Northeast Portland due to harmful urban renewal practices. Community Development Partners (CDP) and Self-Enhancement, Inc. (SEI) have partnered as co-owners/developers on the project, which will include 63 affordable homes, with 17 units serving extremely-low income households (at or below 30% AMI) and 48 family-sized units. SEI’s onsite resident services team will assist tenants with navigating social services and accessing other community resources. The Portland Housing Bureau supported the development with Metro Housing Bond funds.

The Herndon and Knauls Buildings

The building joins two other projects being developed by CDP and SEI as part of their shared “Alberta Alive” vision that are similarly named in honor of prominent activists and leaders from Portland’s Black community: longtime educator and activist Ron Herndon, and Paul Knauls, an entrepreneur known fondly as “the Mayor of NE Portland.” The Herndon and The Knauls buildings, both located in NE Portland’s King neighborhood, are the first to open within the Alberta Alive vision and strive to “celebrate and strengthen Portland’s historically Black N/NE neighborhoods by providing affordable housing, supportive services, and a shared community for underserved individuals and families.”

Dr. John D. Marshall

Finally, our very own John Marshall, who has worked at PHB for decades as an underwriter, recently celebrated the naming of a building in honor of his father Dr. John D. Marshall, who ran a medical practice there for nearly 30 years. Dr. Marshall is credited with selecting the architect and contractor, approving the building design, and paying for the construction of the building located at 2337 N. Williams, which opened in 1952. His medical practice was housed there, primarily serving Portland’s Black community until 1980. One of his patients (who happens to be white) recalled Dr. Marshall fondly, stating: “Having it called the Dr. John D. Marshall Building is a real tribute to him. Just prior to my first marriage, I asked if he would perform the required "'physical'" I needed to get married. He did so for free. It saved me a lot of money of which I had very little.”

During the ceremony, John offered touching words in honor of his father, thanking all of the staff who helped Dr. Marshall serve his patients throughout the years. He also thanked Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI) for placing the rendering of Dr. Marshall on the Urban League Plaza Building in 2014, and Kimberly Moreland for her hard work in documenting the history of the building and the contributions Dr. Marshall's tenants have made serving the community there for 71 years, including Dr. Samuel Brown, a Black dentist; Aaron Brown, a Black attorney who later became Portland’s first black judge and was elected four times; and Portland’s Black Panther Party no-cost community dental and medical offices. The building was later owned by Bernie Foster, a Black Journalist and newspaper publisher, who founded the Skanner News and operated from the building between 1981 to 2001. The building, longtime home to the Urban League of Portland, was also added to the National Register of Historic Places.


Preference Policy Homebuyer Spotlight

Leina'ala's Story

Leina'alas sits in a chair and smiles in a cozy holiday setting.

From the first moment Leina’ala stepped foot in her newly purchased townhouse at the Kenton Townhomes in Northeast Portland, she already knew every inch of the place. She had helped build it, after all, installing doorknobs, caulking, painting shelving, and finishing the closets. “Any projects they wanted me to do, I more than happily did them,” she said, referring to Habitat for Humanity’s sweat equity requirement for new homebuyers.

Leina'ala grew up in Northeast Portland, in the home where her parents have lived for more than half a century. As a single mother of two sons, Leina’ala had always rented apartments, until recently when she decided she wanted what her parents had: a home to call her own. “In some way, shape, or form, I knew the next place I moved to was going to be my place,” she said. “I don’t want to keep on renting when I can own something.”

For Leina'ala, purchasing her Northeast Portland townhouse also meant she was able to stay near her family and the community where she grew up and now works. Through the N/NE Preference Policy, she was able to enter Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program, where she put in more than 180 hours on-site helping build her new home. She had never considered herself a DIY kind of person, but that all changed once she donned a hard hat and went to work. She said the experience was eye-opening and immensely satisfying — particularly as it was her own home she was helping to build. “When I do something, I’m very committed,” she said. “I knew the commitment level, and I knew what I was going to get at the end… It was good to see it go from nothing and turn into something. You really do create a sense of ownership, like, ‘I did that.’”

Leina'ala now wants to share the homebuilding experience with the teens she works with at the Charles Jordan Recreation Center. She hopes to someday get a crew together from Portland Parks and Recreation to volunteer on a Habitat build site. Habitat regularly hosts volunteer teams from other companies and organizations, and Leina’ala believes the experience would be empowering for young adults, who may come to see homebuilding, and all its aspects, as a possible career path.

"You never know what impact you have, if you don’t give them that opportunity.” And she still has her Habitat hard hat for when that day comes.


N/NE Oversight Committee Member Spotlight

Adrian Mashia, Sr.

Adrian Mashia, Sr., wearing a stylish blue suit and black and white patterned shirt, smiles brightly in front of a kids music poster.

Earlier this year, Adrian Mashia Sr. joined the N/NE Oversight Committee after hearing about the committee’s work related to “housing and accountability.” A native Portlander who was born at Emmanuel Hospital, grew up at 25th Ave and Alberta St., and graduated from Portland Community College, Adrian brings deep personal knowledge of N/NE Portland to this role. 

"I've been a member of the N/NE community all my life. There are so many great memories, whether it be the Kenton neighborhood playing baseball or playing football at Peninsula Park, that’s where I met friends and had some of my earliest relationships. I think about those connections as a kid and transitioning later on into an adult. I no longer see the same families and faces who look like me in that park.”

Reflecting on the changes he's seen in the community over the years, he said: “To be honest with you, it looks like a place where a tourist would come if they were to visit Portland. When I was growing up, it was people's homes--Black folks’ homes to be specific--and businesses that they built, organized, worshiped at, celebrated at.”

"What is most needed is gaining access to resources, and knowledge of what's happening to cause exploitation, underrepresentation, and marginalization in all forms - in this nation and specifically in this region.”

As a longtime educator, Adrian credits the next generation as his inspiration. 

“I'm a proud father of two Black sons," he says. "I am always thinking about what legacy I will leave behind for not just my two boys, but my nieces, my nephews, and all the kids and families I represent. Also, one of my greatest goals is just to learn more. I pride myself in being a lifelong learner, and I want to learn more about housing and development and how it intersects with government and the political processes. And then to be a courageous voice for the folks who do not have a voice.”

Learn more about Adrian's background.


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October 2023

November 2023