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Six affordable housing buildings were completed in 2021, adding more than 500 units to metro area, with more coming.

PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - The Nick Fish Apartments in the Gateway area of East Portland, named after the late city commissioner who championed affordable housing.

Correction: Kenton Townhomes is the name of one of the properties. An earlier version of the story used its early project name, Kenton Commons.

More than 500 units of affordable housing opened in Portland during 2021, thanks to funding from a variety of sources, including the Metro bond measure approved by voters. Such units are priced to be afforded by households with less than average earnings.

One such project was the 52-unit Nick Fish Apartments in the Gateway area of East Portland. It is named after the late Portland commissioner who championed affordable housing while on the City Council. He passed away from cancer while still serving in January 2020.

A widely respected elected official, Fish led the creation of the Portland Housing Bureau that oversees construction of the city's affordable housing projects. He also advocated for additional permanently supportive housing units with guaranteed social services to help keep the chronically homeless off the streets.

COURTESY RENDERING: PORTLAND HOUSING BUREAU - Cathedral Village is being developed by Related Northwest and Catholic Charities, and target households experiencing homelessness, immigrants and refugees and communities of color. Eight units are reserved for permanent supportive housing, and the property will offer additional services for families impacted by homelessness.Another 24 affordable house projects are currently in development. Of those, 10 are funded in part by Portland's voter approved bond measure. Nine of the 24 are slated to open in 2022, six of which are supported by the bond, according to the bureau.

The bureau said that 3,400 new affordable housing units have opened in Portland since former mayor Charlie Hales first declared a State of Housing Emergency in 2015. It has been repeatedly renewed by the council and is still in effect.

"We are on track to see the highest single-year housing production in 2022 in the history of the bureau. This includes six Portland Housing Bond projects and two Metro Affordable Housing Bond projects that will open their doors in the coming year. At a time when our community needs stable, affordable housing more than ever, this represents more than 800 new homes for Portland families and for our neighbors experiencing chronic homelessness. We are thankful for the many community partners who came together to make this possible, and to the voters who have continued to step up for more affordable housing resources,"said Portland Housing Bureau Director Shannon Callahan.

Voters approved the Metro bond in 2018 for $652.8 million to go toward bringing permanent affordable housing to 12,000 seniors, families and veterans. The Portland Housing Bond, voted for in November 2016, earmarks $258.4 million to build new affordable multi-family rentals by acquiring and renovating existing structures.

COURTESY RENDERING: PORTLAND HOUSING BUREAU - Las Adelitas is being developed by Hacienda CDC with the intention of mitigating the effects of gentrification displacement, targeting people experiencing homelessness, people of color, and working families.The goal of the Portland Housing Bond is to fund at least 1,300 units of newly affordable housing within seven years — and so far 1,490 units are complete or in the pipeline.

The bureau has plans for even more affordable housing to come online next year in the form of renovations, such as the Joyce Hotel downtown and the Anna Mann house in Kerns.

Each project is tailored to supporting different needs, such as targeting veterans, families, and other specific populations experiencing homelessness — and offering many more services than just affordable housing, like specialized rehab and treatment facilities. For example, the Olin Townhomes and Kenton Townhomes are homeownership units that create permanent residences, and The Medford is a recovery-oriented rehab project in Old Town with half of its units targeting individuals being released from the corrections system, helping them meet parole, receive employment support services, and connect with permanent housing placement.

The six projects that opened in 2021 include 503 new affordable rental units, 60 rehabbed units, 24 homeownership units and 10 treatment beds, according to the bureau. Of the 503 affordable units, 321 are private market units regulated by the Portland Housing Bureau under the city's inclusionary housing policy that requires a limited number of affordable units in private projects over a certain sizes.

Callahan said that Multnomah County, alongside 40 community-based organizations, has distributed $1 million every week throughout the pandemic in rent assistance, which has helped more than 13,000 families keep a roof over their heads. According to Callahan, more than 1,150 affordable housing units opened up in the metro area, housing 1,945 Portlanders during the pandemic so far.

"I want to recognize the hard work and dedication of our exceptional network of community and agency partners, who came together to deliver for Portland families when our community has needed it most," Callahan said. "This year has not been easy. … We are on track to do even more in 2022."

Learn more about these affordable housing projects at www.portland.gov/phb/construction.

COURTESY RENDERING: PORTLAND HOUSING BUREAU - Central City Concern renovated and rehabilitated the Medford building, which reserved 30 units for people being released from the corrections system. This property provides support for addiction recovery, meeting parole requirements, finding employment, reintegration assistance and securing permanent housing.

Punchlist: Competed projects

Here are the six new construction affordable housing properties that opened during 2021:

The Nick Fish

Neighborhood: Gateway

Affordable units: 52

Portland Housing Bureau: $7.4 million

Total cost: $17.4 million

Opened: Spring 2021

Olin Townhomes and Kenton Townhomes

Neighborhood: Kenton

Affordable units: 30

Portland Housing Bureau: $3.3 million

Total cost: $10.8 million

Opened: Summer 2021

Cedar Commons

Neighborhood: Powellhurst-Gilbert

Affordable units: 60

Portland Housing Bureau: $8.5 million

Total cost: $15.9 million

Opened: Summer 2021

The Medford

Neighborhood: Old Town

Affordable units: 60

Portland Housing Bureau: $2.8 million

Total cost: $2.8 million

Opened: Summer 2021

Fora Health Treatment Center

Neighborhood: Hazelwood

Affordable units: 10

Portland Housing Bureau: $2.2 million

Total cost: $29.1 million

Opened: Fall 2021

Findley Commons

Neighborhood: South Tabor

Affordable units: 35

Portland Housing Bureau: $3.6 million

Total cost: $7 million

Opened: Fall 2021

Looking Ahead

A total of 823 new affordable housing units, 18 homeownership units and 95 rehabbed units are anticipated to have completion dates slated for the new year, according to the bureau.

Here are the either new construction affordable housing projects in Portland currently with completion dates in 2022, partially backed and funded by the two bonds. A rehabilitation of the existing affordable housing building Arbor Glen is also expected to be completed during 2022, officials said.

Crescent Court Apartments

Neighborhood: Powellhurst-Gilbert

Affordable units: 138

Portland Housing Bureau: $16.8 million

Total cost: $39.1 million

Target completion: Spring 2022

Las Adelitas

Neighborhood: Cully

Affordable units: 141

Portland Housing Bureau: $17.4 million

Total cost: $56.6 million

Target completion: Summer 2022

Cathedral Village

Neighborhood: Cathedral Park

Affordable units: 110

Portland Housing Bureau: $17.5 million

Total cost: $37.7 million

Target completion: Summer 2022

The Westwind

Neighborhood: Old Town Chinatown

Affordable units: 100

Portland Housing Bureau: $11.8 million

Total cost: $28.5 million

Target completion: Summer 2022

Waterleaf

Neighborhood: South Waterfront

Affordable units: 176

Portland Housing Bureau: $26.7 million

Total cost: $80.3 million

Target completion: Fall 2022

The Hattie Redmond

Neighborhood: Kenton

Affordable units: 60

Portland Housing Bureau: $4.5 million

Total cost: $21.5 million

Target completion: Fall 2022

Emmons Place South

Neighborhood: Northwest Portland

Affordable units: 48

Portland Housing Bureau: $19.8 million

Total cost: $39.7 million

Target completion: Fall 2022

Hayu Tilixam

Neighborhood: Cully

Affordable units: 50

Portland Housing Bureau: $8 million

Total cost: $18.6 million

Target completion: Winter 2022

Jim Redden contributed to this report.


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