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On Friday, July 29, The City Club of Portland’s Friday Forum focused on “White Role(s) in Advancing Social Justice.” Moderated by Karol Collymore, Public Affairs Director for the Oregon Department of Education, the panel included Serilda Summers-McGee, Director of Human Resources for the Oregon Department of Education, Ann Curry-Stevens, Associate Professor Department of Social Work at Portland State University, Rekah Strong, Chief of Operations and Equity at United Way of the Columbia Willamette and Megan Irwin, Early Learning System Director at the Oregon Department of Education. Watch the recording here:
Following the panel, Rekah Strong posted her list of “what can I do” suggestions online and has volunteered to let us re-post them here:
For context, the City Club of Portland framed the Friday Forum panel this way:
Acts of violence have plagued our nation over the past few weeks. We are still mourning the loss of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by the hands of police as we mourn for the fallen officers who served in the Dallas and Baton Rouge Police Departments. In the midst of the racial and political turmoil that is continuing to bubble to the surface, the common question from white allies and others in the struggle for racial justice is, “what can I do to effect a change in racial equality in my community?” Join us as we discuss personal and professional solutions on White people’s role(s) in advancing racial justice.
Buying a home is the biggest purchase most of us will ever make. Properly budgeting for this important purchase is critical! On Wednesday, July 27, Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives will host a budgeting workshop with tips, tricks and useful information for everyone–and especially anyone who would like to buy a home.
This Homebuyer Education class is designed to help residents who need help creating their first budget as well as those who already have a budget but need a boost to reach higher goals, including homeownership.
Interested in more information about PCRI’s homeownership programs? Learn more HERE. Additional classes will be offered each month and new public resources will soon be available; please check back for more information.
For more information contact Homeownership Program Coordinator Ted Salter at (503) 288-2923 ext. 130 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Click the photo at right for a downloadable flyer.
In June, 2016, PCRI completed construction of two in-fill developments a few blocks from one another in Northeast Portland. Each development featured three new construction attached townhomes which will be available for rent by families earning up to 50-60% of Area Median Income, based on family size.
Each townhome includes three bedrooms, a full bathroom and laundry room upstairs, while the open main floor includes the home’s kitchen, living and dining rooms and a half bath. Individual front porches give each townhome a welcoming entry, while private fenced rear yards offer a place for residents to garden, relax or play.
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. These new homes earned Earth Advantage Platinum certification for sustainable construction and energy efficiency. As with other homes developed by PCRI, the homes utilize finishes, cabinetry and flooring chosen for good looks and durability as well as the absence of unhealthy chemicals used in production and finishing. Space and water heating, appliances and lighting fixtures were all selected to maximize the home’s energy-efficiency, reducing utility costs for residents.
One of the two sites was vacant land prior to development of the townhomes. At the other site, an existing, dilapidated single family home was deconstructed prior to development of the new townhomes. The new homes are part of a larger strategy by PCRI to ensure and expand the availability of affordable rental housing in high-opportunity neighborhoods. This home and future developments aim to mitigate–and when possible, prevent–the forced displacement of long-term residents due to rising rents and gentrification.
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.
This new construction project, built by Colas Construction, also provided good paying construction jobs for historically underutilized firms. Construction work performed by certified minority-owned businesses comprised approximately half of all subcontracted construction expenses. In addition, volunteer partnerships helped stretch the project budget while ensuring the new home was a compliment to the neighborhood.
Funding for this project was provided by Portland Housing Bureau, Pacific Continental Bank, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a deconstruction grant provided by the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, equity invested by PCRI, and the use of energy-efficiency incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon.