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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Equity in Homeownership

Testimony from Lisa Bates regarding homeownership funding in the City

April 12, 2012

One of the Portland Housing Bureau’s top priorities is helping Portlanders from communities of color buy a home or keep the home they already own.

For communities of color in Portland, the American Dream of homeownership can be difficult to attain. Recently, the Coalition for Communities of Color reported that 58 % of white mid-income Portlanders own a home, compared with only 47% in communities of color.

PHB funds several homeownership programs to address this disparity and is proud to partner with non-profit organizations in the community to serve the homebuying community. Our partners are able to provide culturally specific programs and services to meet the specific needs of our communities of color.

One of those partners is the Portland Housing Center (PHC.) PHC provides homebuyer education and counseling, savings and down payment programs, and affordable mortgages. This year, the Portland Housing Bureau provided $100,000 in federal grant dollars to support PHC’s mission.

At City Council yesterday, Dr. Lisa Bates, a board member from PHC, shared her concerns about the minority homeownership gap and expressed support for continued homeownership funding in the City’s budget for next year.  Her eloquent testimony explains why this work is so important. 

As Dr. Bates said, “the right time for the city’s investment in supporting new homebuyers and strengthening communities is now.”

Dr. Lisa Bates’ April 11 Council Testimony

Find out more about the Portland Housing Center

Learn more about the Portland Housing Bureau’s community partners

Affordable homes coming to Southwest Portland

City Council approved funding for Stephens Creek Crossing, April 11, 2012

April 12, 2012

Yesterday, City Council authorized $1.8 million in Community Development Block Grant funds to build Stephens Creek Crossing, a new multifamily affordable housing development in Southwest Portland.

Stephens Creek, managed by Home Forward, will provide 122 affordable homes to low-income families. Stephens Creek will be the third HOPE VI development in Portland. HOPE VI funds are granted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the revitalization of publicly-subsidized communities.

In addition to bringing much-needed community development funds to this area of the city, Stephens Creek will replace the older, 60-apartment Hillsdale Terrace that suffers from safety and health issues. 

Stephens Creek Crossing will include sustainable features such as on-site stormwater management, Energy Star appliances, and community garden spaces. 

A community center and children's center featuring Head Start classrooms will create a sense of community for Stephens Creek Crossing. Habitat for Humanity is also building seven off-site first-time homebuyer opportunities. 

Demolition of the old complex is expected to begin in August, with a ground-breaking for the new facility anticipated in September. Families will begin moving in by February 2014.

Rendering courtesy of Home Forward

A Portland Story

The State of Housing: a Portland Story - by Nick Fish

April 13, 2012

This week, Street Roots invited me to publish "The State of Housing: A Portland Story."

They gave me a platform to tell our story: the progress we have made together, the challenges we face, and the opportunities that lie ahead.

I hope you’ll buy a copy from your local Street Roots vendor (find a vendor).

I look forward to your feedback – email me at to share your thoughts.

It’s an honor to serve as your Housing Commissioner, and to work with Director Traci Manning and the talented team at the Portland Housing Bureau.

 The State of Housing - A Portland Story

"This week I presented my fourth housing budget to the City Council. It is a good time to reflect on the progress we have made together, the challenges we face, and the opportunities that lie ahead.

I ran for City Council on a platform of changing the way we deliver affordable housing to struggling families, the homeless, and the disabled. I pledged to work with government, non-profit, business, and faith community partners to build a new house, not just renovate the old one..."

Read more.


Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative

City Council approves six new Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative districts

April 16, 2012

Story by Sophia Kecskes

Nick was pleased to join City Council in approving the Portland Development Commission’s (PDC) urban renewal plans for six proposed Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative districts. All of the districts are located in East Portland, and community groups from the six neighborhoods will partner with the City to build capacity for economic development.

Each urban renewal area will receive about $1 million in tax increment revenue, and will decide how to invest that revenue back into their districts. Over the next nine years, this money will be spent on small, tangible projects such as improvements to storefronts, sidewalks, and street lighting.

PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton said, “we applaud the community work that drove this process forward, and appreciate City Council’s support of this key initiative in our neighborhood economic development strategy.”

Karina's story

Portland parks & Recreations' East Portland Community Center

April 16, 2012

By David Nguyen

We’d like to share a video of Karina Miziolek, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Girl of the Year!

Karina was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) just days before her 4th birthday. She spent two and half years undergoing intensive treatment, always maintaining high spirits and a cheerful demeanor. 

Karina is currently taking swimming lessons at Portland Parks & Recreation's East Portland Community Center as part of her rehabilitation.

We are proud to be part of Karina’s recovery.