- Programs + Services
- Beatrice Morrow
On April 7, PCRI and Portland Housing Bureau welcomed Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, city officials, nonprofit leaders, and business partners for a groundbreaking celebration. Named to honor Portland civil rights pioneer Beatrice Morrow Cannady, the 80-unit mixed-use commercial and residential building will be the first city-funded project to use Portland Housing Bureau’s Preference Policy to prioritize rental homes for previously-displaced residents.
The five-story building will be built along NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd between Cook and Ivy Streets. It includes 80 affordable rental homes for residents displaced from North and Northeast Portland. Forty-four of the 80 apartments will have two or more bedrooms. In addition to the apartments in the building’s upper floors, the ground floor will include over 6,000 square feet of commercial retail space as well as a large community room for use by the building’s residents and members of the neighborhood. Construction is anticipated to be complete in mid-2018 and all apartments are expected to be leased by the end of the year.
“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 Ms. 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.”
Of the total project budget of $25 million, the city will loan the development $7.35 million in Interstate Urban Renewal Area funds and will grant the land to the project. In September 2015, the Portland Housing Bureau selected the team led by PCRI to develop and own the project through a competitive “Request for Qualifications” process. Other team members include Gerding Edlen, development partner for the project; Colas Construction, the project’s general contractor; and Carleton Hart Architects.
The development team has had a particular focus on creating equitable economic opportunity in the development of the project, including partnership with Colas Construction and Carleton Hart Architects, both minority-owned firms. Professional services contracted during the project’s design phase have been overwhelmingly focused on minority- and women-owned firms. In addition, Colas Construction anticipates at least 30-40% of the project’s construction will be performed by certified minority-owned, women-owned, and emerging small business firms.
“There was intentional gentrification and displacement of African Americans in our community,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a March 22 meeting where Portland City Council voted unanimously to approve city financing for the development. “This project… puts Portland in the unique position of being the first in the country to not only acknowledge that displacement as a result of gentrification, but it puts us in the unique position of seeking to reverse it.”
In addition to the Portland Housing Bureau, project partners include Oregon Housing and Community Services, U.S. Bank, Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital, Home Forward, and Meyer Memorial Trust.
On April 7, the State of Oregon Housing Stability Council voted to approve Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) for PCRI’s King + Parks affordable rental housing development. The LIHTC commitment provides the equity investment that is a core piece of financing for the new 70-unit apartment community.
The PCRI-led team was chosen by Portland Housing Bureau in 2016 to develop the site at the corner of NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Rosa Parks Way, less than a block from PCRI’s main office. The new construction development will include 70 apartments, 50 of which will have two or more bedrooms. All apartments will be restricted to serve households earning less than 60% of area median income (AMI, currently just under $44,000 for a family of four). Section 8 vouchers will provide rent assistance for 20 units reserved for families earning less than 30% AMI.
PCRI and its development team are beginning focused outreach to neighbors and community members to share details and gain feedback. The development is anticipated to submit for building permits in fall 2017 and to begin construction after the New Year.
In partnership with Merryman Barnes Architects, PCRI has developed initial designs for the property that include a U-shaped building surrounding a central courtyard (pictured below). The completed building will feature on-site management on its ground floor, along with a community room and secure bicycle storage. Off-street parking is envisioned along the west side of the property, accessed by the existing alley.
In alignment with goals of PCRI’s Pathway 1000 initiative to mitigate displacement, the apartments will utilize a geographic preference policy developed by Portland Housing Bureau to provide leasing priority for current and former residents of North and Northeast Portland who have been negatively impacted and/or displaced by prior public action and investment. For more information about the preference policy, visit the Portland Housing Bureau website.
Contracting and hiring opportunities for the development are intended to benefit local business, especially minority- and women-owned firms. For more information about the development or to stay informed about contracting or employment opportunities, please sign up for our mailing list (check the box for King + Parks for information specific to this project).
The project’s budget is currently estimated at approximately $24 million. LIHTC equity is preliminarily estimated at $12.8 million and private debt is estimated at $4.8 million. Formal details of the tax credit equity and private debt will be confirmed in a Request for Proposals to be issued in Summer 2017. Through a competitive application process, the City of Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) has reserved $4.5 million in Interstate Urban Renewal Area funds to loan to the project. PHB will also grant the land to the project.
Twenty-two low-income families displaced from North and Northeast Portland will be able to purchase a home in their former neighborhood, thanks in part to a $100,000 grant from Wells Fargo Housing Foundation to Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI).
PCRI will use the grant to help build 22 new homes in North and inner Northeast Portland for purchase by the families. Construction on the homes is expected to start later this year, with all 22 homes completed and sold to qualifying families by the end of 2018. PCRI is estimating the total construction budget will be close to $6 million.
“Helping a family become a homeowner is one of the most effective ways to help them overcome displacement from their historic neighborhoods,” said PCRI Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick. “This grant is an important tool to make homes available and affordable for families who want to return and stay in the neighborhoods they once called home.”
The Wells Fargo grant will make homeownership more affordable by helping offset PCRI’s development costs for new homes built on land it owns. The completed homes will be prioritized for sale to households who have been involuntarily displaced or are at risk of displacement from North and inner Northeast Portland.
The 22 homes are part of a larger PCRI initiative: Pathway 1000. The initiative aims to develop 1,000 new homes during the next 10 years, prioritized for residents involuntarily displaced or at risk of displacement from North and inner Northeast Portland.
“This grant is part of our commitment to the community to support the creation of more affordable housing, which is so desperately needed in Portland,” said Wells Fargo Oregon Regional President Tracy Curtis of Portland. “We work in tandem with PCRI and other community-based nonprofits to ensure stability and opportunity for local families.”
One of 56 Grants Nationally
The $100,000 grant to PCRI was one of 56 neighborhood revitalization grants totaling $6 million that Wells Fargo Housing Foundation gave to nonprofits in 20 states and the District of Columbia through its Priority Markets Program. Since 2009 the program has provided grants totaling more than $42 million to nonprofits in 125 communities.
Grant recipients were selected from requests submitted by local Wells Fargo employees and nonprofits Wells Fargo identified as being in need of extra help with large-scale neighborhood revitalization projects. A recipient must be a nonprofit with a successful history of building or renovating housing for low-to moderate-income homebuyers.
About Wells Fargo Housing Foundation
The Priority Markets Initiatives are administered through the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation. The foundation has stewarded more than $82 million and 4.5 million team member volunteer hours in support of creating affordable housing and community revitalization programs. The foundation has mobilized more than 175,000 volunteers to build or refurbish 3,600 homes in low-to-moderate income communities. More information: www.wellsfargo.com.
Portland’s Metropolitan Contractor Improvement Partnership (MCIP) is hosting their fourth annual subcontractor trade show on Thursday, February 16 from 12 noon – 4 p.m. at the Oregon Convention Center. The trade show allows MBE/DBE contractors the opportunity to have one-on-one face time with owners, primes, and agencies. Contractors will have the unique experience to individually market their businesses and build relationships to secure new work. Previous trade show participants made immediate connections with owners, primes and agencies for contracts.
Last year the trade show had over 150 attendees representing General Contractors including: Howard S Wright, LMC, Hoffman, Fortis, Anderson Construction and Hamilton. This year, MCIP anticipates even more will participate as attendees look to meet and become more familiar with MWESB contractors in a variety of scopes.
The focus of this event is to introduce and showcase DMWESB firms to a network of industry leaders and decision makers. MCIP’s mission is to connect sub-contractors to opportunities and new industry relationships. In doing so, MCIP places subcontractors behind the booths to showcase their business, skills and capacity, then invites primes, agencies and other industry professionals to come check out the diverse trades, businesses and services that Oregon DMWESB firms have to offer.
MCIP is partnering with PCRI to create economic opportunity through contracting needed to develop the homes which are part of PCRI’s Pathway 1000 initiative. MCIP is recognized as a valuable organization that supports MBE/DBEs and helps to build their business capacity. MCIP provides general services and workshops to approximately 40 businesses each year as well as intensive one-on-one mentoring services. MCIP has helped public agencies and primes achieve their diversity goals and focused on MBE/DBE businesses which have the greatest disparity in contracting.
Questions about the trade show or MCIP’s services? Contact Chris Cross by email or at 503.288.1211.
Providing homeownership opportunities and housing counseling assistance to low-income families ensures long-term affordability, stabilizes residents and their neighborhoods and helps families build equity and break the cycle of poverty.
In conjunction with the Pathway 1000 Initiative, PCRI is adding additional focus in current and future housing development efforts to increase opportunities for homeownership. PCRI’s goal is to address active and ongoing involuntary displacement of African Americans and other low income residents from the neighborhoods we serve.
A bit of history: during the period from the mid-1990’s to 2010 10,000 residents—primarily African Americans—were forced to relocate out of North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods. Essentially, 3 people every day for 10 years were forced to find another place to live.
To accomplish our goal of addressing this involuntary displacement, PCRI established a displacement mitigation initiative, Pathway 1000, with the sole purpose and intent of slowing and reversing the involuntary displacement of long term residents previously forced to move from N/NE Portland, and current residents at risk of displacement. Through the Pathway 1000 initiative, PCRI aims to build and create at least 1,000 homes, many of which will be available to purchase. The homes will be located throughout the city of Portland, with the primary focus on the N/NE Portland neighborhoods where displaced families previously resided.
The 1,000 homes will be constructed at a level of 100 homes per year over the next ten years. PCRI is targeting involuntarily displaced residents who were forced to relocated due to escalating housing costs, or because their rental home was sold to a homeowner. PCRI encourages interested community members to participate and learn more via PCRI’s website and social media channels, where a forthcoming questionnaire will be posted to determine eligibility and housing needs.
PCRI will also conduct a series of exploratory sessions with displaced residents and residents on the verge of displacement. These sessions will further determine the need as well as interest in taking advantage of the Pathway 1000 initiative and share more information about the opportunities to move back into historic, African-American populated NE Portland neighborhoods.
We cannot undo the harms done, but rather must focus on restoring housing justice for those who were harmed. PCRI’s goal is to support and encourage displaced African-Americans to focus on the future. Homeownership is the stabilizing solution to displacement. Investing in opportunities and assistance for low-income families ensures long-term affordability and stabilizes residents in their neighborhood.
Community development corporations like PCRI can support displaced residents by building community awareness of solutions through advocacy and civic engagement to create anti-displacement policy. Residents and community leaders have influence over planning and development in their neighborhood. Gentrification and displacement issues must be discussed and addressed on a regular basis. Residents must remind government leaders and city planners of displacement, and the reality of unintended consequences of strategic growth. Residents who are concerned and who have been impacted must get involved in their neighborhood and they must expect and encourage equitable development.
More: PCRI’s Pathway 1000 Initiative is featured in the Portland Observer, June 2, 2015.
On January 20, The Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors (PMAR) presented an Oregon Home Foundation grant for PCRI’s homeownership education program. The grant will help support increased attendance in PCRI program as well as development of ongoing post-purchase support programs.
“Homeownership is the most effective way for most families to achieve and retain stability within their community,” said Andrea Debnam, PCRI’s Manager of Resident Services. “This grant will help PCRI clients realize their dreams and build assets through homeownership, breaking cycles of poverty.”
PCRI, whose vision is to help low-income families achieve stability and build wealth, shares the Oregon Association of Realtors HOME Foundation’s belief in the incredible value of homeownership to break generational cycles of poverty. PCRI also understands that education and support prior to purchase are key to the long-term success of first-time buyers, especially for PCRI’s target population of African Americans who have been disproportionately excluded from homeownership.
Since 2004, PCRI has successfully provided culturally-specific homeownership education, counseling services, and financial assistance to low- and moderate-income residents living in PCRI housing and in the larger community. Interest in PCRI’s homeownership program has nearly doubled in the last year and, with increased development of homes for purchase associated with the Pathway 1000 initiative, attendance is expected to continue to increase. The Oregon Home Foundation grant will help PCRI meet increased service needs as well as develop new programs.
The Homeownership Opportunities Website Northwest (HOW NW) sponsored by PMAR provides additional resources for buyers without charge or obligation. In addition to PCRI’s education services, buyers are encouraged to visit the HOW NW website to learn more about buying, owning and retaining a home.
PCRI is proud to be selected by Meyer Memorial Trust for a 2016 Housing Opportunities portfolio grant award. The grant, announced in November 2016, will help offset costs for PCRI to develop a large community center in the new building at the Grant Warehouse site (more recently named The Beatrice Morrow) which will serve residents as well as the larger community. Grant funds will also ensure the affordability of family-sized apartments in this new building, meeting Meyer’s goal of increasing the number of available affordable housing units.
In a post on Meyer’s website, Housing Opportunities portfolio director Theresa Deibele noted that equity and cultural competency were especially important for selected grantees, including PCRI and other organizations who predominantly serve communities of color. She added that selected grantees such as PCRI aligned well with Meyer’s equity mission, including work to reduce the disparities faced by marginalized people, support for vulnerable populations and commitments for contracting and employment opportunity.
“Equity also showed up in how projects are carried out,” Deibele wrote. “All capital projects reflected a commitment to use minority-owned, women-owned and emerging small business contractors.”
PCRI has made significant commitments to contracting equity in the development of The Beatrice Morrow and other projects. This development will also be part of PCRI’s Pathway 1000 initiative, which has a significant component dedicated to contracting and employment. An implementation plan for this portion of the Pathway 1000 initiative is currently underway.
PCRI was among six organizations who were awarded grants for new housing development. All of the developments awarded will serve very vulnerable and high priority populations. A total of 282 new units are expected to be added to the state’s housing stock in part because of these awards, according to Meyer’s website.
Diebele noted the value in Meyer’s philanthropy to help ensure the viability of affordable housing which also leverages public and private funds.
“Many projects directly leverage large public investments, which often come from restricted funding sources (e.g., tax increment financing that must be spent on capital in a certain neighborhood region),” she wrote, “and philanthropy can play a role in helping to fund the staffing and support services needed to deploy such funds.”
PCRI is honored to have Meyer Memorial Trust’s support to develop The Beatrice Morrow and is looking forward to beginning construction. As of November 2016, the development was pending building permit approval and finalization of financing terms. Construction is expected to begin in winter 2016-17.
Community members, neighbors, partners and others joined PCRI for an open house to see PCRI’s newest affordable rental homes and enjoy food from local businesses Tamale Boy, Portland Prime and Cupcake Jones. The June 14 event celebrated completion of construction of six three-bedroom, townhouse-style rental homes intended to help mitigate and prevent displacement in Northeast Portland’s rapidly changing neighborhoods.
Families on PCRI’s affordable housing waiting list who were displaced or are at risk of displacement from North and Northeast Portland will receive priority to rent the homes using a “Right to Return” policy developed by PCRI to mitigate involuntary displacement. The homes will be reserved for rent by families earning up to 50-60% of Area Median Income (income thresholds vary by unit) and will rent for $955 to $1,146 per month.
Designed by eM|Zed Architecture and built by Colas Construction, these homes will ensure durability, health and affordability for resident families for years to come. Thanks to a grant from the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the existing home at the site which was not suitable for rehabilitation was deconstructed, helping to prevent valuable building material from becoming landfill. Financing for the development and construction was provided by Portland Housing Bureau and Pacific Continental Bank, with additional incentives and grant funding from Energy Trust of Oregon and NW Natural.
Key Planning and PCRI aim to learn what current and future residents of North and Northeast Portland want to see in their neighborhoods. Informed in part by a series of community conversations in March and April, 2016, we will develop the Pathway 1000 Community Housing Plan. This plan will guide PCRI’s Pathway 1000 initiative by helping answer questions of what housing should be developed, where, and for whom.
Join PCRI and Portland State University Masters in Urban and Regional Planning candidates for three upcoming community conversations about what home means to you. Each of the forums will be held at the Peninsula Park Community Center, 700 N Rosa Parks Way in Portland. Refreshments and childcare will be provided!
Forum One: Breaking Ground
Thursday, March 31, 6–8 p.m.
Forum Two: Community Choices and Trade-Offs
Thursday, April 14, 6–8 p.m.
Forum Three: Building Community
Sunday, May 22, 2–4:30 p.m.
Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick shared PCRI’s Pathway 1000 Initiative at The Skanner newspaper’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast in January, 2016. The video, below, accompanied her presentation.
Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives Inc.
6329 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Portland, OR 97211
Tel: (503) 288-2923 Fax: (503) 288-2891
PCRI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community development organization providing affordable rental housing to low-income families, primarily in North and Northeast Portland. Since 1992, PCRI's vision has been to provide affordable housing and associated services that achieve family stability, self-sufficiency and wealth creation.