A cornerstone project in the City of Portland’s work to address involuntary displacement in North and Northeast Portland is moving forward.
On Monday, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Dan Saltzman announced plans for two key sites along NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., including a vacant City-owned parcel that has been designated for a new affordable housing development.
Commissioner Saltzman, who oversees the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB), announced that a team comprised of Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI), Gerding Edlen, Colas Construction, and Carleton Hart Architecture, has been selected to develop the mixed-use project on NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, between Cook and Ivy streets.
The selection process served to identify a project team that could best meet goals outlined in PHB’s N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy – a $20 million affordable housing initiative to combat ongoing displacement in Portland’s historically African
“We needed to ensure that whoever took on this project had deep ties to this community,
understood the specific barriers to housing this community faces, that they would draw their workforce from this community, and that they would engage minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the process,” Commissioner Saltzman said. “PCRI, together with Gerding-Edlen, Carleton Hart Architecture, and Colas Construction, will bring a deep and personal knowledge of the North/Northeast Portland community to this project.”
Earlier this year, PHB dedicated $4.5 million plus the property toward the project. The specifics are still in development, but the project promises to deliver at least 45 family-sized rental units, affordable to households earning up to 60% of the area median income (currently $39,720 for a family of three). The finished project will be leased according to a new affordable housing preference policy being developed by PHB that will give priority to households with historic ties to the N/NE Portland community – those currently at risk of displacement as well as those who have been displaced in the past.
In addition, it will offer ground-floor commercial space intended to support neighborhood business.
“This is an important opportunity to provide access to affordable family rental housing in a neighborhood that has experienced displacement and gentrification in the past several decades,” said PCRI Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick. “PCRI was formed as, and continues to be, a solution to involuntary displacement. This project will help ensure everyone can experience the stability, safety and dignity that a home provides.”