Thanks to a grant from the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation announced May 15, Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives will have additional resources to meet the needs of a rapidly-growing homeownership education program. The grant will help support increased attendance in PCRI’s program as well as new program orientation sessions and post-purchase support.

PCRI Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick (2nd from left) accepts a grant from local Wells Fargo executives, left to right: Andrew Tweedie, Community Affairs officer; Tracy Curtis, Regional President; and Cobi Lewis, Community Development officer. PCRI will use the $100,000 grant to build 22 affordable homes for sale to low-income buyers displaced from N/inner NE Portland

PCRI Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick (2nd from left) accepts a grant from local Wells Fargo executives in January 2017, left to right: Andrew Tweedie, Community Affairs officer; Tracy Curtis, Regional President; and Cobi Lewis, Community Development officer. PCRI will use the $100,000 grant to build 22 affordable homes for sale to low-income buyers displaced from N/inner NE Portland

PCRI has experienced a sharp increase in participation in its homeownership program in the last year and anticipates further increases in participation due to a recent Portland Housing Bureau initiative prioritizing first-time home buyer assistance for families with roots in North and Northeast Portland. Many prospective homeowners introduced to PCRI’s program through the PHB initiative have already begun working toward homeownership with PCRI’s support.

“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 offers comprehensive and culturally specific resident services, including the homeownership education program, to residents and the larger community. PCRI also partners with industry professionals to deliver workshops and individual support focused on every aspect of home buying and ownership. After purchasing a home, PCRI remains connected to buyers, providing post-purchase support. In addition, PCRI provides homeownership retention and referral programs to help senior homeowners age in place and retain homes they currently own.

The homebuyer education program is a component of a larger PCRI initiative aimed to mitigate displacement and bridge minority homeownership gaps: 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. In addition to current rental projects under development, PCRI is developing more than 20 homes for purchase by first time buyers in the next two years. Wells Fargo Housing Foundation previously committed $100,000 in support for the homeownership initiative through its Priority Markets Program (grant presentation pictured above). In addition, down payment assistance totaling over $1.7 million is committed for these buyers by the City of Portland Housing Bureau.

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 Wells Fargo Housing Foundation grant will help PCRI meet increased service needs as well as develop new programs.

April 28, 2017 · Featured, Pathway 1000, PCRI
King + Parks Apartments. Rendering: Merryman Barnes Architects

King + Parks Apartments. Rendering: Merryman Barnes Architects

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.

King + Parks Apartments courtyard entrance. Rendering: Merryman Barnes Architects

King + Parks Apartments courtyard entrance. Rendering: Merryman Barnes Architects

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.

PCRI Ground Breaking 040717_NH12039

PCRI and Mayor Wheeler celebrated groundbreaking of the Beatrice Morrow on April 7

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.

Following the groundbreaking celebration, Ms. Morrow Cannady’s great grandson heard news of the development and reached out to PCRI to share his enthusiasm and appreciation.
“I can’t tell you how much this means to me and my daughters! Beatrice Morrow Cannady was my great grandmother and she has been a beacon of inspiration to our family for generations,” he said. “It wasn’t until I was in medical school that I began to learn of her contributions to our people and our nation. I have her law school diploma framed and hanging in my home office next to my medical school diploma!”

PCRI Ground Breaking 040717_NH12006The 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.

PCRI Ground Breaking 040717_NH12051

Andrew Colas, PHB Director Kurt Creager, Maxine Fitzpatrick and Commissioner Dan Saltzman at the groundbreaking

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.

April 27, 2017 · Featured, PCRI

PCRI’s Sixth Annual Dancing with the Stars Portland Gala was a glitter and glamour filled success, raising $96,000 to support affordable housing and services for PCRI residents and north/northeast Portland community members! The dancers delivered an amazing show and the event’s sponsors, volunteers and guests made the evening another memorable event.

Jessi and Alex Aillon started off the 2017 PCRI Gala. Photo: Brit Forbes

Jessi and Alex Aillon started off the 2017 PCRI Gala. Photo: Brit Forbes

Following a lively reception, Alex and Jessi Aillon of Fred Astaire Dance Studio delivered a stunning opening performance. Emcee Sasha Spencer Atwood shared her personal connections to the work PCRI does.

Gala competitors (left to right) Kali Thorne Ladd, Paul van der Salm, Tricia Tillman, Carlos Banks. Photo: Naim Hasan Photography

Gala competitors (left to right) Kali Thorne Ladd, Paul van der Salm, Tricia Tillman, Carlos Banks. Photo: Naim Hasan Photography

The headlining entertainment of the evening, the Dancing with the Stars-style competition, was every bit as exciting as its television namesake. Trained by and paired with professional dancers from Portland’s Fred Astaire Dance Studio, each dancing couple put on a spectacular show.

Kali Thorne Ladd and Alex Aillon's Viennese Waltz won the Gala competition. Photo: Naim Hasan Photography

Kali Thorne Ladd and Alex Aillon’s Viennese Waltz won the Gala competition. Photo: Naim Hasan Photography

In the end, only one dance couple could be named champion and while judges Cupid Alexander, Serilda Summers-McGee, Andrew Tweedie and auction winner Robert Hoffman had a tough decision, they named Kali Thorne Ladd and Alex Aillon this year’s winners.

Gala judges weigh in on the competition. Photo: Brit Forbes

Gala judges weigh in on the competition. Photo: Brit Forbes

But the evening isn’t just about a dance competition. Sasha Spencer Atwood 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 had guests bid cards high in the air.

Guests raised their bid cards to support PCRI. Photo: Naim Hasan Photography

Guests raised their bid cards to support PCRI. Photo: Naim Hasan Photography

Most notably, Northeast Portland homeowner Jenean Dunn shared her emotional story of how she was introduced to PCRI at a critical time. Fighting back tears on stage, she shared how PCRI’s homeownership retention program helped her keep her home and ensure she got the heat back on so she could stay in the house and neighborhood she’s called home since she was a child (click HERE to watch the video).

Jeanan Dunn (left) shares her experience working with PCRI and staff member Lisa Williams (right). Photo: Naim Hasan Photography

Jeanan Dunn (left) shares her experience working with PCRI and staff member Lisa Williams (right). Photo: Naim Hasan Photography

For more photos, be sure to visit Naim Hasan Photography’s website and 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 – the date will be announced soon!

March 10, 2017 · Featured, PCRI

PCRI has recently created and opened several positions and we’re looking for candidates who will excel within our diverse and fast-paced organization. More information, including downloadable job descriptions will full details of each opportunity, is available on our Job Opportunities page.

DSC_0470Job 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.


February 9, 2017 · Featured, PCRI, The Beatrice Morrow

oex_beatrice_credit_ohsBeatrice Morrow-Cannady, a historic Portland pioneer in the fight for racial equality, will be honored by Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI).

A new affordable housing development with community-serving commercial space is being developed by PCRI in the Northeast Portland neighborhood where the civil rights pioneer lived and worked. The new building will be named “The Beatrice Morrow” to recognize her work to achieve equality for the African American community and to improve race relations in the City of Portland and State of Oregon.

“PCRI is proud to honor Ms. Morrow by naming our newest development ‘The Beatrice Morrow,’” stated Maxine Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of PCRI. “She is the basis of the opportunities available to African Americans in the State of Oregon and motivates us to continue her work to achieve equity and equality.”

The Beatrice Morrow is a housing development which will encompass 80 affordable apartments prioritized for historic residents of north and northeast Portland. In addition, the development will offer community space and community-serving commercial retail at street level. The development will be located at the former Grant Warehouse site on NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, between NE Cook and Ivy Streets. Construction will begin in early spring 2017, with completion anticipated in 2018.

Beatrice Cannady Taylor, age 80.

An important but often overlooked and hidden figure in the fight for racial equality in the Pacific Northwest, Beatrice Morrow-Cannady worked tirelessly to improve race relations in Portland and to secure equal rights for the Oregon’s African American community.

Morrow moved to Portland in 1910 at the age of 20 and worked as the business manager, associate editor, linotype operator, and editorial and news writer for the African American newspaper, the Advocate. She helped found the Portland chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and mobilized African-American women for the war effort, as president of the Colonel Charles Young War Savings Club and as head of a local Red Cross Auxiliary’s knitting unit.

She graduated from Portland’s Northwestern School of Law in 1922 and became Oregon’s first African American woman to practice law. In 1932, she ran for the Oregon House of Representatives—the first African American to run for elected office in Oregon. Despite not being able to vote herself (African Americans were not allowed to vote in Oregon in 1932), Morrow earned 8,000 votes. Although she did not win the seat, she continued to work tirelessly to improve race relations. She gave hundreds of lectures to white high school and college students and was invited to speak on KGW, KOIN and other radio stations. She also hosted multicultural tea parties at her home every Sunday afternoon which combined entertainment, cultural history and politics. The assemblies received such a positive response that as many as 200 people would attend.

For updated information about The Beatrice Morrow and other PCRI developments, visit or the development’s Facebook page.

February 9, 2017 · PCRI

PCRI welcomes students entering grades K-4 to attend an informational session and, if interested, enroll at the KairosPDX Learning Academy. Kairos is now recruiting students for the 2017-2018 school year, with a mission to eliminate prolific racial achievement and opportunity gaps by cultivating confident, creative, compassionate leaders. Kairos is particularly interested in enrolling children entering kindergarten.

KairosPDX Recruitment Flier 2017 FINALKairos Learning Academy is a public charter school utilizing a child-centered, inquiry-based, multicultural curriculum for children grades K-4. Click on the flier image at right (or pick one up at PCRI’s main office) for more information about the school and enrollment process.

Kairos is hosting information sessions and tours at the school on the following dates:

Friday, March 3, 2017 at 8:30am
Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 4:30pm
Friday, March 10, 2017 at 8:30am
Friday, March 15, 2017 at 6pm

Families can RSVP at and will receive an application when they attend the info session.  Interested families who are unable to attend any of these sessions are encouraged to contact Kairos directly by email or at 503-567-9820.


February 8, 2017 · Featured, Pathway 1000, PCRI

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 Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick (2nd from left) accepts a grant from local Wells Fargo executives, left to right: Andrew Tweedie, Community Affairs officer; Tracy Curtis, Regional President; and Cobi Lewis, Community Development officer. PCRI will use the $100,000 grant to build 22 affordable homes for sale to low-income buyers displaced from N/inner NE Portland

PCRI Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick (2nd from left) accepts a grant from local Wells Fargo executives, left to right: Andrew Tweedie, Community Affairs officer; Tracy Curtis, Regional President; and Cobi Lewis, Community Development officer. PCRI will use the $100,000 grant to build 22 affordable homes for sale to low-income buyers displaced from N/inner NE Portland

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.

Families purchasing the homes will receive support from PCRI’s HUD-certified homeownership education and financial education programs.

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:


February 7, 2017 · Featured, PCRI

Takara 02PCRI awarded two new laptop computers to school-age youth living in PCRI housing at the beginning of February 2017. The two laptops were gifted to PCRI by Comcast at a late-2016 event providing information about Comcast’s Internet Essentials program. After receiving the computers, PCRI invited youth to submit letters describing how they would benefit from having a new computer. While PCRI received many deserving submissions, two winners stood out:

If it wasn’t already evident in Takara’s letter that she loves to read and write, it quickly became obvious when she came into PCRI’s office to pick up her new laptop. Her face lit up when she described what she would be able to learn and write on her new computer.

Takara 09Similarly, her mother Tiffany beamed as Takara talked about the focus areas of the IB program and how she had earned bracelets for each of the program areas, including thinking critically, taking risks, caring, being open-minded and more. IB schools encourage students outside of the basic common core lessons “by developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are motivated to succeed.”

Another youth picked up his new laptop from PCRI’s Maya Angelou Community Center.

“I have attended the Maya Angelou Community Center ever since it first opened,” wrote Joseph, age 14. “Since that time, I have usually used the center’s computers for homework, but now that I am in high school, by the time I get home the center is either closed or ten minutes to close. Never enough time.”

Joseph with New ComputerJoseph’s letter went on to describe how having a new computer would help him and both of his brothers with their studies and completing homework. Joseph was beyond happy when Resident Services Coordinator Adrena Christmas delivered the news that he had won the new laptop. His immediate response was that Ms. Adrena (as he calls her) was tricking him, but once he realized it wasn’t a joke, he thanked Adrena and PCRI over and over again for allowing him such a great opportunity.

“My teachers would usually assign work that needs to be on Google classroom, I cannot do it without a computer or internet capable device,” Joseph said. “My mother has tried hard to get one, but she never could afford to buy one. This computer will help me so much. My papers will be turned in on time, it will also give me something to do over the weekends.”

Since receiving his new laptop, Adrena remarked that Joseph has been in to the community center every day to work on it and she has noticed him become much more in tune with completing his homework.

“I will work as hard as I can to keep my grades up by using the device,” he wrote in his letter. “I will graduate by keeping my grades up by using the laptop that I am hoping to win.”

All of the staff members who read Takara’s and Joseph’s letters congratulate them on their new computers. PCRI staff look forward to reading more of Takara’s writing and seeing Joseph graduate in a few years from Grant High School.

About the Comcast Internet Essentials Program
Working side-by-side with schools, government, and non-profit partners, Comcast has connected more than 750,000 families—over 3 million low-income Americans—to the power of the Internet in their homes. This program has grown to be Comcast’s largest and most successful community investment initiative. Since 2011, Comcast has built a network of over 2,000 volunteers and over 9,000 non-profit and educator partners to help spread the word about Internet Essentials. All told, Comcast has provided more than $300 million of support for digital literacy training, benefiting over 4.4 million people.

February 7, 2017 · Pathway 1000, PCRI

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.

MCIP Trade Show FlyerLast 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.

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