November 16, 2015 · Featured, PCRI
Shaw Family

In October, former PCRI resident, Daniel (not pictured), Genté and Chloé, purchased their new home with the support of PCRI’s Homeownership Program.

Are you interested in homeownership but not sure where to begin? PCRI is hosting an open house on Thursday, December 10, 2015 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Residents and others are encouraged to learn about PCRI’s Homeownership Program, designed to help families overcome homeownership barriers, including: bad or no credit, debt, affordability issues and lack of down payment.

The open house is also an opportunity to learn about Pathway 1000, PCRI’s new initiative to build homes for homeownership with YOU in mind.

Food and daycare will be provided, and the open house will include a raffle with door prizes!

To reserve your opportunity at the open house, please RSVP to by email to Amy Dang or by phone at 503.288.2923 ext 131.

The open house will take place Thursday, December 10, 2015 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the PCRI Annex, 6601 NE MLK Jr. Blvd. Portland, Oregon 97211. The PCRI Annex is located two blocks north of the PCRI main office, between NE Dekum St. and NE Rosa Parks Way.


November 16, 2015 · Featured, Grant Warehouse, PCRI

PCRI and the members of the Grant Warehouse redevelopment team have issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) soliciting proposals for professional services. These services include a variety of disciplines related to the design and pre-construction phases of the project. This RFQ will be used to solicit proposals in response to the design challenges required to achieve a sustainable, mixed-used, affordable housing development.

The proposed project will be a single, to-be-constructed building of between 50 and 80 units of affordable family rental housing, and will include approximately commercial/retail space on the ground floor as well as on-site parking. In addition to providing affordable housing in a neighborhood that has experienced displacement and gentrification over the last several decades, one of the goals of the Grant Warehouse Redevelopment is to create opportunities for minorities and local businesses in all phases of development. Team members include co-developer Gerding Edlen and certified minority-owned firms Carleton Hart Architects and Colas Construction, who are both invested in and connected to the community.

Professional services sought in this RFP will be part of the pre-design, design, and construction administration phases. Services from the following disciplines will be contracted by Carleton Hart Architects, the architect of record, except as noted otherwise:

  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Architectural Design Services (limited)
  • Structural Engineering
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Cost Estimating Services
  • Interior Design Services
  • Surveying (contracted by PCRI)
  • Environmental Review (Phase I/II; contracted by PCRI)

As noted above, a goal of the Grant Warehouse redevelopment is to create opportunities for minorities and emerging small businesses in the North/Northeast Portland business community. Responses to this RFQ will be evaluated by their ability to meet these social objectives with their firm and staff, in addition to factoring in the firm’s experience and qualifications. The Owner and the development team will review responses and a Request for Proposal will be issued to firms who are deemed to have met the qualifications through the RFQ response.

The deadline for RFQ submission is November 30, 2015. The development team anticipates selecting consultants in early December, 2015.

Click HERE for the full Request for Qualifications and additional information.


November 10, 2015 · Featured, PCRI

Ameia on her bikePCRI is participating in the Community Cycling Center 2015 Bike Drive! Applications for the bicycle drive will be accepted through November 18, 2015, but the number of bicycles available is limited and runs out quickly each year, so residents are encouraged to apply ASAP! Residents who wish to enroll in the bike drive should contact PCRI staff member Kirk Rea.

There is a $5 application fee and a short application required for the bicycle drive. The application and assistance are available from Kirk, who can be contacted at 503-282-1359 or by email.

For photos and stories of PCRI residents at previous Bike Drives, check here. Please note that bikes are not new, but are refurbished to ‘like new’ condition.

Eligibility criteria to receive a bike (and helmet!)

  1. Children qualify for free and reduced lunch
  2. Children either do not have a bike; their bike is too small; or their bike is broken
  3. Children are between the ages of 6-8 years old and fall within our height range (51-57 inches tall)
  4. Families can pay the $5 registration fee per bike (this is done by credit card or cash on the Cycling Center’s online registration system. If the payment by credit card presents a problem, PCRI may be able to assist)
  5. Families are able to travel to the event, held at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in North Portland on December 6.

Important Dates:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 18 @ 5 pm – Online Registration Closes
  • Sunday Dec. 6 – Holiday Bike Drive Event

Registration Information

To prepare you for the upcoming registration, here are the information we require for each child:

  1. First and last names
  2. Age of the child (must be 3-8 years old)
  3. Height in inches (to pair the child with a properly fitting bike)
  4. The child’s ethnicity (to better understand who we’re serving)
  5. Language spoken (for any translation needs)
  6. Family contact information (address, phone number)


The cost per child is $5 that can be paid with cash, check, or credit card at registration.

Day of Event

The next steps after registering will be to get families ready for the event itself. Due to the large number of people participating, we will be in touch regarding scheduling times for all participants to arrive at the event. This will ensure that things flow smoothly, we minimize frustration and wait times, and we have interpreters available for folks that need them.

November 9, 2015 · Featured, PCRI

Genté, DJ and Chloé Shaw became first-time and first-generation homeowners as they moved into their new home in Northeast Portland in October. Moving from Gresham where rent was affordable, the Shaws were particularly excited to be able to own and raise their children in a closer-in neighborhood.

Shaw Family

Genté and Chloé Shaw talk about saving for their first home.

“To be owning a home, to be investing in our own personal asset and someday pass on to our daughter,” Genté said, “it’s a great feeling!”

The Shaws utilized savings they accrued through the PCRI’s matched-saving IDA program to help with their down payment and were supported through the entire process by Liz and Andrea, PCRI’s IDA and Homeownership staff.

It wasn’t always easy, Genté said, but she challenged others to make small changes to begin to achieve future goals. “I just encourage anyone else out there, if you’re able to do so [begin saving], do it,” she said. “Start where you are and be consistent.”

A week before closing on their new home, Genté and Chloé sat down with IDA Specialist Liz Olson to share their story for the Oregon IDA Initiative:

Achieving stability. Becoming self-sufficient. Successfully purchasing their first home. Using the tools PCRI provides, residents and clients achieve all types of success. We’re always eager to highlight the ways they’ve succeeded and congratulate the Shaw family on their new home!

November 4, 2015 · Featured, PCRI

PCRI is a candidate for the 2016-2017 funding cycle of Albina Community Bank’s LOOP Visa™ Credit Card program, and they need to hear from you that program donations should go to PCRI!  Please follow the link below before 5:00 pm on Friday, November 13 to cast your vote.  The bank will announce winning organizations just in time for Giving Tuesday.  Thanks for helping PCRI and Albina Community Bank make a difference in the communities where we live and work!


Join the LOOP of Giving!

The LOOP VISA™ Credit Card program generates financial donations for select non-profit organizations that bank with Albina Community Bank.  When Albina customers are approved for their LOOP VISA™ Credit Card, they select which cause they would like their purchases to support: Education; Health & Social Services; The Environment; The Arts; Economic Development; or all causes equally. At no cost to the cardholder, Albina gives back a percentage of the total annual purchases made on LOOP Visa™ Credit Cards to the selected organizations. Think of it as our gift in support of local non-profit organizations!

Want to know more about how Albina Community Bank’s LOOP Visa will helps PCRI and the community? Read more:

  • (Click here) to read an article in Northwest Weekly about how Albina is supporting Giving Tuesday through the LOOP VISA ™ Credit Card program.
  • (Click here) to watch the Metro East Community Hotline program and hear Mary Edmeades, Albina VP / Market Manager, talking about Giving Tuesday and why Albina is involved.
  • (Click here) to see the non-profit organizations that benefitted from the LOOP VISA™ Credit Card program in 2014-15.
November 4, 2015 · Featured, PCRI

Struggling with Payday or Title Loans? You might not have to pay them back!

money_headEffective June 18, 2015, Oregon Senate Bill 278 voids payday loans, title loans, or consumer finance loans of $50,000 or less, if at the time the loan is made, the person making the loan does not have a required license. Borrowers are not obligated to pay back loans from lenders without required licenses. Any collection activities on these loans are illegal.

As of November 5, 2015, there are only 14 store lenders and 8 online lenders with Oregon licenses.

Think you might be a victim of illegal lending?

Step 1: Confirm the illegal status of your lender online or call 866-814-9710.

Step 2: File a complaint. Call 866-814-9710 or visit Oregon’s online complaint website. Complaints may also be filed in Spanish.

Step 3: Repair your credit. The PCRI Financial Education Specialist can help you file disputes and contact the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. Call 503-288-2923 x 131 or email Amy Dang for an appointment.

Need money for an emergency? Avoid illegal lenders. Contact the PCRI Financial Education Specialist for referrals to a reputable lender who works with borrowers with no or low credit.

November 1, 2015 · Featured, PCRI

Applications are now open for the Oregon Promise program, Oregon’s state initiative that provides free community college tuition. PCRI encourages all eligible students to apply.


To be eligible, students must graduate from high school or earn their GED in spring/summer 2016 with at least a 2.5 GPA, and must plan to enter community college in fall 2016. Students also must be Oregon residents for at least one year prior to receiving funds (so, a student must have been a resident of Oregon by August 2015 or before). The program will offset tuition costs after federal grants have been applied. Interested students and others can read more in this OPB article.

Funds will be awarded first come, first served, so students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Residents and community partners are also encouraged to share this information with any other residents or families who might qualify.


October 23, 2015 · Featured, PCRI

Recently, PCRI honored two employees of the month. Fiscal Manager David Wilcox earned employee of the month honors for July, and Maintenance Technician Kwasi Armstrachan earned the honors for August.

EOM JulAug2David’s “great work ethics” and “approachable, respectful, professional” attitude earned him the recognition. “I appreciate when departments can cohesively work together to make sure PCRI finishes first, and David exemplifies this very well,” said his nominator.

Kwasi’s nominator also raved about his commitment and attitude. “Kwasi is an amazing employee. He is always willing to go the extra mile,” the nominator said, adding that he “exemplifies PCRI’s core values.”

And our hearts were warmed by a story of Kwasi’s commitment to making a better community:

One day at 7-Eleven, Kwasi saw a young boy take a pack of cookies. No one saw him except Kwasi. Kwasi placed his arm around the boy and asked if he’d ever been in trouble with the law. When the boy replied “no,” Kwasi said, “you don’t want to start now” and told him to put the cookies back.

Once the boy replaced the cookies, Kwasi gave him $5 to buy the food. “You don’t know what his home life was like,” Kwasi explained.

We extend our gratitude and appreciation to both David (upper photo) and Kwasi (lower photo) for their outstanding service in and out of the office.

Residents, Vendors, Contractors, Visitors, Staff, Partnering Agencies and others are encouraged to nominate a PCRI employee who they feel should be recognized for their efforts to make PCRI the best it can be (click here for a nomination form, which can be submitted via email). The success and growth of the organization depends on employees’ dedication to the betterment of the community we serve.

October 20, 2015 · Featured, PCRI

The Urban Harvest Garden, run by the Urban League of Portland, serves to create space for African Americans and others to obtain food security and to engender Environmental Justice – the fair access of land to marginalized people. The garden is run on a collective model, so you work in it when you can and harvest from it when you need. This is an amazing opportunity for residents living in multiunit apartments where garden space is limited or not available. The garden is located on the corner of North Beech Street and North Albina Streets.

Urban-League-Garden-Clean-UpTo jump start the winter season, there is a garden work party on Saturday, October 24 from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. Tasks include amending the soil, removing summer plants, pulling weeds, planting winter vegetables, and providing general garden maintenance. RSVP’s are welcomed (see contact information below), but are not required.

This is an outdoor rain-or-shine event, so watch the weather and dress appropriately. Restrooms are off site a block away. The garden is wheel chair accessible and some work can be accomplished with diverse mobility.

Light snacks will be provided. No specific training is required and work can be taught on site for any volunteer experience level with gardening; the garden is here to build us up.

The Urban Harvest Garden also acts as an educational zone and receives visits from a neighboring childcare facility and Self Enhancement, Inc.’s nearby school. Future dreams of the garden include distributing produce to Black-owned restaurants and to eventually start a Black farmers market.

PCRI residents interested in using the garden will have support from the garden coordinator, Laquida Landford, and can obtain further free resources including support from PCRI’s Garden Program Specialist, Kirk Rea, who teaches gardening skills and is able to distribute plants, tools, and other supplies.

For more information, contact:
Laquida Landford, 719-427-1368 or by email.
Kirk Rea, 503-282-1359 or by email.

Garden Workparty
Location: 741 N Beech St (corner of Albina St and Beech St)
Date: Sat. October 24, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm

September 28, 2015 · Featured, PCRI

Through its Community Planning and Development Grant Program, Metro Council recently awarded 16 grants totaling over $4.7 million, including $250,000 for the N/NE Community Development Project, part of the PCRI-led Pathway 1000 Initiative. The grant for N/NE Community Development Project will aid in planning, identification of underdeveloped properties and other strategies to mitigate, prevent and reverse residential and small business displacement in North and Northeast Portland.

PCRI staff and PSU Architecture students collaborate on a housing planning project

PCRI staff and PSU Architecture students collaborate on a housing planning project

For the grant-funded project, Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI) will lead a partnership including the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Portland Housing Bureau, Portland State University’s Center for Public Interest Design and PSU Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning. Awards were announced at a Council meeting held at Harrison Park School in East Portland on September 24.

“Most importantly, and for the first time since this grant program was established, projects were selected using new criteria that addressed equity considerations,” said Metro Councilor Sam Chase in his email newsletter. “To me, ensuring we grow in a way that enhances the quality of life for everyone is critically important.”

The N/NE Community Development project is intended to help reverse negative impacts of past policies and public investment. The project will produce strategic and implementation plans for how to develop at least 1,000 new, affordable homes and commercial space in close-in North and Northeast Portland during the next ten years. This ambitious goal was framed by the Pathway 1000 Initiative envisioned by PCRI. The project is intended to mitigate, prevent and reverse the residential and minority-owned small business displacement that has occurred in North and Northeast Portland during the last 10 years, the impacts of which have been borne most heavily by the African-American community, which is the focus of the initiative.

“This is great news!” said PCRI Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick. “It provides PCRI and the City of Portland with valuable resources to strategically plan for at least 1,000 new affordable homes, reversing decades of involuntary displacement in North and Northeast Portland and ensuring these new homes are thoughtfully integrated into existing neighborhoods.”

With intentional community involvement, the project aims to develop a deep understanding of the housing needs and preferences of previously-displaced North and Northeast Portland residents as well as those at risk of being displaced. The grant will also help define criteria by which potential development sites are evaluated and proposed for development. In turn, this understanding can influence public investment strategy as well as the types of developments undertaken by PCRI and other housing providers.

Similarly, the grant funding will help design commercial opportunities, contracting, small business and workforce-related strategies that engage the target population of African-American and other low income residents who have been historically and consistently underrepresented in economic opportunities such as the development proposed in the Pathway 1000 Initiative.

Metro established the Community Planning and Development Grant program in 2006 to help local communities do the hard work of thinking forward: planning for development, investment and collaboration that help create great places all over the region. The community planning and development grant program is one of the Metro Council’s best tools to help communities achieve their visions, reflecting the council’s belief in investing to support communities, create housing and jobs opportunities and improve people’s lives throughout the region. Funded by a regional construction excise tax, these grants are critical planning resources that help communities revitalize existing neighborhoods and plan for the development of new urban areas. For more information, visit

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