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PCRI Board and Staff are excited to participate in several festivals this August: the SEI Summer Music Festival, the Alberta Street Fair, and the 2016 Soul Stroll. We welcome residents and community members alike to join us at the festivals, several of which have opportunities to learn more about PCRI, our developments and homeownership programs, as well as employment opportunities.
On August 6, 2016, PCRI is proud to sponsor Self Enhancement, Inc’s Summer Music Festival: “A Walk Down Memory Lane”. The festival is 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Unthank Park (located on Kerby Ave. and Failing St.). This event will feature many performers, including a special tribute honoring local jazz legend Thara Memory. The festival will also offer information about community displacement and what you can do, as well as food and good times, as SEI says, “the way we USED to do it!”
Saturday, August 13, 2016, is the 19th Annual Alberta Street Fair, and PCRI will be there! The Fair, hosted by Alberta Main Street, “offers an eclectic mix of activities and events that could only be found on Alberta Street”. It is one of Portland’s most popular fairs, drawing over 25,000 people each year who attend to see the best of the Alberta Street community. In addition to exhibitors like PCRI, the event is for fair-goers of all ages and features entertainment, music, vendors, food and drink.
PCRI gives special thanks to Brooks Staffing for donating the exhibitor space PCRI is using at the fair!
PCRI staff are also excited to participate in the 2016 Soul Stroll on Saturday, August 20. The wellness walk, hosted by the African-American Health Coalition (AAHC) helps raise awareness of health disparities among the African American Community, and raise funds to sustain the AAHC physical activity program. Grand Marshal Cathy Mayes will kick off the 2.5k and 5k walks. Afterwards, the Soul Stroll will feature free food, music, dancing and more.
Interested in joining PCRI or volunteering at any of these events? Follow the links for each event or email us for more information!
PCRI is excited to announce a new rental housing development which will serve low-income families in Northeast Portland. The PCRI-led team was chosen by Portland Housing Bureau earlier this year 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.
In partnership with Merryman Barnes Architects, Colas Construction and Cascade Management, PCRI is currently developing designs for the property, envisioning a U-shaped building surrounding a central courtyard (pictured below). Initial designs include one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments serving households at a variety of income levels. The completed building is expected to feature on-site management on its ground floor, along with a community room and secure bicycle storage.
Design development is currently underway. As of July, 2016, construction is estimated to begin in Summer 2017, with completion in mid- to late-2018. When completed, 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).
PCRI has recently created and opened several positions and we’re looking for candidates who will excel with our organization. More information, including downloadable job descriptions will full details of each opportunity, is available on our Job Opportunities page.
Job opportunities at PCRI include a generous benefits package that typically includes paid vacation, sick leave, paid holidays and employer-paid health coverage. Details of benefits for each position are included in each position’s job description. PCRI also offers a 403(b) retirement savings plan, access to PCRI’s asset building and other programs, as well as other benefits.
PCRI is a fast-paced, highly engaged work environment. We strive to communicate effectively and respectfully within the context of varying beliefs, behaviors, orientations, identities and cultural backgrounds. We actively seek opportunities for professional development for our staff and promote a willingness to change for continual improvement.
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.
The Urban League of Portland announced on that PCRI Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick would receive the League’s keynote honors at their Equal Opportunity Awards dinner on October 4, 2016 at the Oregon Convention Center.
The annual event celebrates and supports the work of Urban League of Portland and others empowering African Americans and other Oregonians to achieve equality in education, employment and economic security.
In the June 15 announcement, the Urban League stated, “Maxine is a passionate leader in our community, working to ensure that all Oregonians have access to affordable housing and opportunities for home ownership. As the Executive Director of Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Maxine is a tireless advocate for families in our community and has been at the forefront in providing real solutions to Portland’s current housing crisis.”
PCRI’s staff and board are honored to see Maxine receive the Urban League’s honors and will attend the event to celebrate the Urban League’s work and Maxine’s award. More information about the Equal Opportunity Awards dinner can be found on the Urban League of Portland’s website.
PCRI’s Fifth Annual Dancing with the Stars Portland Gala was the most successful gala yet, raising a record $104,500! The dancers delivered an amazing show and the event’s sponsors, volunteers and guests raised 25% more than ever before to support the affordable housing and services PCRI residents depend on.
Following a packed reception, Nkenge Harmon-Johnson and Erious Johnson brought the event to life with an epic performance choreographed to “Staying Alive”. Emcee Chabre Vickers brought her personal connections to the work PCRI does.
The headlining entertainment of the evening, the Dancing with the Stars-style competition, was also one for the record books! Trained by and paired with professional dancers from Portland’s Fred Astaire Dance Studio, each dancing couple put on a spectacular show.
In the end, only one dance couple could be named champion and while Adrienne Nelson, Frank Taylor and reigning champion Pamela Weatherspoon had a tough decision, they named Cupid Alexander and Jessi Aillon this year’s winners.
But the evening isn’t just about a dance competition. Chabre Vickers and PCRI Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick celebrated the successes achieved by PCRI residents while underscoring the work that is still needed: to ensure all families have access to the benefits of stable, affordable housing in Portland’s opportunity-rich close-in neighborhoods. Led by auctioneer Kelly Russell, the gala’s live auction and special appeal were the most successful yet.
Most notably, former resident and first-time homeowner Altia Wilkins described how the stability of PCRI’s affordable rental housing, support of PCRI’s resident services and her strong dedication enabled her to purchase the home where her grandkids have room to play. In addition, the equity she builds in her home will provide stability for her grandkids and future generations.
For more news and photos, be sure to visit the Gala website! And, of course, we extend a giant thank you to all our sponsors, contributors and guests as well as the fantastic volunteers who made the evening such an amazing success. If you’re not already signed up, be sure to join our mailing list to get news and invitations for next year’s gala, scheduled for Saturday, March 25, 2017.
PCRI is planning an open house and ribbon-cutting celebration June 14, 2016 for our newest affordable rental homes. These three-bedroom townhome-style rental homes are our most recent example of transit-oriented infill homes to help mitigate and prevent displacement in Northeast Portland’s rapidly changing neighborhoods.
Neighbors and community members are invited to help us celebrate these new homes at an event June 14, 2016 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Email Travis Phillips or call PCRI’s main office for more information and to RSVP.
These new homes (and a virtually identical development a few blocks away) are expected to achieve Earth Advantage Platinum certification for their sustainable, energy-efficient construction. 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. Financing has been provided by Portland Housing Bureau and Pacific Continental Bank, with incentives and grant funding from Energy Trust of Oregon, the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and NW Natural.
PCRI has been working with valued partner Qualen Carter, loan officer at HomeStreet Bank, since 2014. He has helped many of PCRI Homeownership Program clients to find appropriate home financing, guiding them through the complexities of the mortgage lending process with a level of care that is distinctly unusual in his field.
Qualen is a tireless and resolute advocate for first-time homebuyers; his approach to his work is rooted in his deep commitment to his community, and in his belief that opportunities for homeownership should be made accessible to all. He says that most of all he wants his clients to know homeownership is for them. That message is particularly meant for African Americans, who have historically been denied the opportunity to own homes through exclusion from the mainstream mortgage market, redlining, predatory lending practices, and other forms of discrimination. As an African American loan officer, Qualen knows that it’s powerfully important for clients of color to see him — someone who reflects their identity, someone who is intimately familiar with their community — in order to gain a sense of recognition, and a degree of confidence that they will be welcomed and understood.
Qualen’s mission-driven approach runs counter to the profit-driven business model that governs much of the financial sector. He highlights what he sees as the huge disparity that exists in the industry based on a borrower’s income — whereas financial institutions ‘roll out the red carpet’ for wealthy buyers (in terms of lower interest rates, more leniency around requirements for debt-to-income ratios, and more), moderate-income buyers struggle to find affordable products. While Qualen shares that he’s had to take some losses in order to do his work with the level of care and integrity this is his trademark, the opportunity to help families get into their first home is well worth it. Qualen cobbles together all possible resources in order to make a loan work for clients, utilizing programs like the Mortgage Credit Certificate, Oregon Bond, Down Payment Assistance Loans and Individual Development Accounts (the second two are available through PCRI). If there was ever a doubt, he wants his clients to know that he’s “grinding just as much as they are” — he’s prepared to advocate and work hard on behalf of deserving first-time homebuyers.
Wondering how you might get started on the road to first-time homeownership? Qualen leaves us with some expert advice:
Qualen’s passion for working with first-time homebuyers, his deep commitment to his community, and his true industry expertise make him an invaluable partner to our organization and the individuals and families that we serve in our Homeownership Program. We are proud to partner with Qualen, and grateful for his work.
Nicole Christmas joined PCRI’s staff this May as the Maintenance Administrative Assistant. Nicole brings extensive professional experience to her role, having worked in Office Management for over fifteen years at companies including Toyota Motor Sales and US Pipe Fabrication. Nicole’s compassionate customer service, her skill in financial management, and her capacity to balance the complex moving parts of a busy office will contribute to the smooth and efficient operation of PCRI’s Maintenance Department.
Nicole is excited to work with PCRI’s diverse resident community, and to assist people and their families with their maintenance needs as they arise. Nicole shares that she has always wanted to join a team that “offers an environment of cultural awareness, the kind that empowers all human beings.” She looks forward to fostering that kind of empowering community at PCRI, and is eager to work together with you, our residents. In addition to managing the day-to-day administrative needs of the Maintenance Department, Nicole is our residents’ primary contact for any necessary work orders and repair requests – she looks forward to communicating with you, and helping to make sure that your home stays in working order!
Outside of her time at PCRI, Nicole is committed to her family and to giving back to the broader community. She serves as Youth Ministry Leader at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, working with youth under the leadership of First Lady Sister Angela Pack. She’s also a volunteer with the Portland Parks Foundation. Nicole is a native Portlander, self-described free spirit, avid basketball player, gardener, and reader.
PCRI is thrilled to have Nicole as part of our staff team – please join us in welcoming her!
Would you like to be able to buy a home in North/Northeast Portland? PCRI is developing new homes for sale to qualifying first-time buyers and is partnering with the Portland Housing Bureau to make homeownership affordable and available to longtime residents of North and Northeast Portland. Portland Housing Bureau’s applications for this opportunity will be available beginning April 18, 2016 but must be completed and returned between May 2, 2016 – May 13, 2016.
Families who experienced or are now facing involuntary displacement from their historic neighborhood will be able to apply to receive preference for financial assistance to purchase a home via a policy developed by Portland Housing Bureau. Applications and additional information about the opportunities available and the preference policy are available on Portland Housing Bureau’s website, at PCRI and at other designated application sites.
As part of our Pathway 1000 Initiative to mitigate and prevent involuntary displacement, PCRI is developing these new homes for first time buyers beginning in 2016. These homes will include family-size single family homes, row homes and other types of housing. Families who purchase these homes can receive the full benefit of their homes’ equity and appreciation. Repayment of certain down payment assistance programs may be required; PCRI can help buyers understand all the opportunities and restrictions. More information on PCRI’s homeownership initiative can be found HERE.
More information about the Housing Bureau’s program and application is available online at www.portlandoregon.gov/phb and at PCRI. If you have any questions or would like to request printed copies of materials, call or visit PCRI or contact Jacquelyn Giordano at Portland Housing Bureau at 503-823-4100.
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.